Rising global food prices an ‘extreme poverty’ crisis

Thursday, February 17, 2011
By Paul Martin

By Josh Brown
The Washington Times

Skyrocketing global food prices have pulled more than 40 million people into “extreme poverty” and have almost reached the levels of June 2008, when the world was rocked by food riots.

“The Bank‘s Food Price Index shows food prices are now 29 percent higher than they were a year ago and only three percent below the peak of the last food crisis in June 2008,” World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick stated Tuesday. “Clearly, this is serious cause for concern.”

According to the newest Food Price Watch, the foods with the sharpest price spikes since June of last year include such staples as wheat, maize (corn), sugar and edible oils, with wheat prices increasing the most in past months.

Corn prices are about 73 percent higher than they were last year, and sugar has seen its price rise by about that much. Wheat has become more expensive because of fears of crop damage from severe weather in such major producers as Australia and China.

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