Rising food prices will make the world poorer
World Bank Managing Director Juan Jose Daboub warned that global poverty levels could surge over the next three years due to rising food costs and predicted no letdown in the price of rice. Already, rising food and fuel prices over the past two years have pushed some 100 million people back into poverty, living below US$2 (euro1.30) a day.
Food costs are on average more than 2 1/2 times higher now compared to early 2002, with no signs of relief in sight , especially for rice, Asia’s staple food, which recently broke above a record US$1,000 (euro650) per metric ton. Soaring food prices hit the poor especially hard because they spend a large percentage of their income to feed themselves.
Daboub blamed the spike in rice price on a combination of factors including growing demand, rising fuel prices, cuts in agriculture funding, increasing use of food crops for bio-fuels, distorting subsidies and trade barriers, financial speculation and bad weather.