- A global surge in food prices has become a great concern to the United Nations, fearing that it could lead to further tensions across the world, including Africa.
The Executive Director of the World Food Programme, Josette Sheeran, has appealed to the donor community to provide addition funds to deliver lifesaving assistance in Haiti. WFP chief warned that rising prices mean less food for the hungry.
"A new face of hunger is emerging: even where food is available on the shelves, there are now more and more people who simply cannot afford it,” Ms Sheeran said.
WFP needs US $96 million to assist 1.7 million people in Haiti. But it has so far received only US $12.4 million.
“Riots in Haiti underline the additional need for lifesaving food assistance,” she said. “At this critical time, we need to stand with the people of Haiti and other countries hardest hit by rising food prices.”
The UN food agency had earlier announced an appeal to bridge a US $500 million gap caused by the 55% global hike in food and fuel prices over the months.
Protest over soaring food and fuel prices have also resulted to recent unrest in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Cote d’Ivoire, Mauritania, Mozambique and Senegal.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was deeply concerned about the rise in global food prices, believing that the reasons for the shortages cannot be solely cause by a simple trade-off between biofuels and agriculture.
“We must take steps, beginning now, to assure the world’s food security,” Mr Ban's Spokesman, Michele Montas said. Michele said efforts are first needed to address urgent humanitarian needs before increasing production.
Meanwhile, workers in Burkina Faso have began their two-day strike over high cost of living on Tuesday.
Called by the main workers' unions, the strike demanded a 25% increase in salaries and pensions as well as a "significant and effective reduction" in the cast of rice, millet and other essential foods.
The government was also asked to cut taxes on oil and small businesses.
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