July 24, 2007

High food prices, low aid to poor

Rising food prices are threatening the ability of aid organizations to help the world's hungriest people. Worldwide, basic foods now cost 21 percent more at the wholesale level than in 2005, with key commodities such as grains and oils up more than 30 percent, according to World Bank price indexes. For poor people, that means the quality and quantity of nutrition are at risk. For relief organizations, it means aid resources are stretched thin. Typically, donor governments boost their food-relief funding when a crisis demands it. What's happening now is not so much a crisis as a quiet squeeze. Retail food prices haven't spiked as much as wholesale prices.

No comments: