UN Set To Ration Food Aid As Prices SoarTuesday, February 26, 2008
(American Meat Institute)
The United Nation’s agency responsible for relieving hunger is drawing up plans to ration food aid in response to escalating food prices, its director told the Financial Times newspaper. Josette Sheeran, executive director of the World Food Program (WFP) said that crisis talks are currently being held to decide what aid to halt if new donations do not arrive in the short term.
Sheeran’s warning suggests that the price jump in agricultural commodities, a result, in part, of increased demand stemming from ethanol production, is having a wider impact than thought, hitting countries that have previously largely escaped hunger.
Sheeran said that in response to rising food costs, families in developing countries were moving in some cases from three meals a day to just one, or dropping a diverse diet to rely on one staple food.
In response to increasing food prices, Egypt had widened its food rationing system for the first time in two decades, while Pakistan had reintroduced a ration card system that was abandoned in the mid- 1980s.
Countries such as China and Russia were imposing price controls while others, such as Argentina and Vietnam, were enforcing foreign sales taxes or export bans, said the Financial Times.
It was also reported today that the Iraqi government plans to cut back its food-ration system this summer, a movie aid agencies warn could increase rates of malnutrition.
Food prices are rising on a mix of strong demand from developing countries, a rising global population, more frequent floods and droughts caused by climate change and the bio-fuel industry's appetite for grains, according to analysts cited by the Financial Times.
To view the Financial Times article in its entirety, click here: http://www.balancedfoodandfuel-old.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/9290share on facebook share on twitter