Food prices soaring to dangerous levels
According to the World Bank, soaring food prices have pushed more than 40 million people into poverty in the last year.
Worryingly, a further 10% increase in food prices would push 10 million below the extreme poverty line – defined as an income of less than $1.25 a day.
Robert Zoellick, World Bank president, was asked if he thought prices would remain high for the next 12 months and he replied: “The general trend lines are ones where we are in a danger zone… because prices have already gone up and stocks are relatively low.”
The rise has been attributed to higher fuel costs and world food prices are 36% higher than they were this time last year due to events in the Middle East and North Africa.
Meanwhile, the World Bank said the cost of basic commodities remain close to their 2008 peak, with the prices of wheat, maize and soya all escalating.
Furthermore, the recent floods in Australia hit agriculture – a country which exports its wheat and sugar cane throughout the globe, so there are concerns that prices could continue to rise.