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2.15.2011

Rising food prices push 44 million into poverty: World Bank

Source: Reuters

Rising global food prices has pushed an estimated 44 million more people into extreme poverty in developing countries over the past eight months, the World Bank said Tuesday.

The poverty-fighting institution said its food price index increased by 15 per cent between October, 2010, and January, 2011, and is just 3 per cent below its 2008 peak during the last food price crisis.

But unlike during the 2007-2008 food crisis, higher prices have not yet affected all regions of the world.

Across Asia and in some parts of Latin America and Eastern Europe countries, costlier food is pushing up inflation pressures, while good harvests of staple foods in Sub-Saharan Africa has so far spared that region from rising prices.

“Higher maize, sugar, and oil prices have contributed to increase the costs of various types of food, though local maize prices have largely been stable in sub-Saharan Africa,” the World Bank said in an updated Food Price Watch report.

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