UN’s World Food Programme running out of food
March 21, 2008
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According to the United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP), is reporting that due to an increase in food prices, many developing countries will be not be able to afford the basic amount of food.”At this stage it is still premature to provide figures, but we fear a deepening nutritional crisis among the poorest segments of the population, those already food and nutritionally insecure,” said WFP Director Carlo Scaramella (El Salvador) on the WFP’s Web site.
With the price of grain, wheat, corn and beans increasing over the last six years, and the WFP’s budget yet to adjust, it means that less food will be provided to those who are in need.
“Look at what’s happened to wheat prices alone – they shot up 25 percent in one day last week,” said Josette Sheeran, executive director of the WFP, to The Washington Post.
Recent research show that Central America is the region that will be most effected by this.
“These people have seen their access to food diminish as a result of the rising prices of basic commodities like corn, wheat, rice and beans,” said Scaramella. “It’s a new phenomenon that may likely affect many people across Central America.”
“We can’t afford beans or meat, and powdered milk has become too expensive,” said 30-year-old Rosario Ochoa from Nicaragua according to WFP’s Web site.
For the WFP, this poses a real threat because the organization has never dealt with this kind of situation before.
“This is really the first emergency we’ve faced without a drought, war, natural disaster,” Sheeran said. “We will have to cut the amount of people being served or the amount of food being served if we do not get more funds.”
The WFP is trying to stop this problem before it escalates. They are buying more local foods to prevent transport costs, as well it is trying to get the leading experts in this field to meet and discuss a feasible solution.
“It will only get worse in the short term because energy prices are at an all time high,” said Ken Gilmore, associate professor and chair of political science. “This situation is partially due to the inability of the WFP to adapt to increased food prices.