The food crisis has increased the number of hungry people in the world, described as a “serious setback” to global efforts to reduce mass starvation.
“The ongoing financial and economic crisis could tip even more people into hunger and poverty,” the FAO added.
“High food prices are driving millions of people into food insecurity, worsening conditions for many who were already food-insecure, and threatening long-term global food security,” the FAO said in its report The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2008.
Although food commodity prices have fallen about 50 per cent from this summer’s all-time highs, they remain well above pre-crisis levels. The cost of rice, for example, has halved since July, but it still trades at prices that are 95 per cent above 2005 levels.
In addition, the weakening of some emerging countries’ currencies against the US dollar has partially erased gains from the drop in commodity prices.
“Soaring food prices have reversed some of the gain and successes in hunger reduction, making the mission of achieving the internationally agreed goal on hunger reduction more difficult,” the FAO said.
[The Financial Times]