Food Riots Threaten Latin America on Surging Commodities in UN Assessment

Wednesday, February 16, 2011
By Paul Martin

By Nicholas Larkin
Feb 16, 2011

Countries in Latin America and Africa, including Bolivia and Mozambique, are most at risk of food riots as prices advance, the United Nations reported.

The past month’s protests in North Africa and the Middle East were partly linked to agriculture costs. World food prices climbed to a record in January, the UN said on Feb. 3. Food prices are rising to “dangerous levels and threaten tens of millions of poor people” globally, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said yesterday.

“The low-income food deficit countries are on the front line of the current surge in world prices,” Abdolreza Abbassian, a senior economist at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, said in an e-mail Feb. 14. Other countries where expensive food imports may become a “major burden” include Uganda, Mali, Niger and Somalia in Africa, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in Asia and Honduras, Guatemala, and Haiti in Latin America, he said.

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