News

Food Price Hikes Affecting Aid Agencies

Rising prices are putting food beyond the reach of more people and affecting places where food insecurity has not been an issue. Tendai Maphosa reports for VOA from London that the World Food Program says that also means African countries that were already vulnerable need a lot more help.

The World Food Program is active in almost 40 sub-Saharan African countries. The U.N. agency's Greg Barrow says more people are under threat of being priced out of the food market as most of the countries are food importers.

Barrow says governments importing food pass on the high cost to consumers and this has led to unrest in some countries.

"We have seen this particularly in a number of West African countries that have to import food. Places like Mauritania [and] Senegal where there is a high level of rice consumption and this leads to frustration," he said.

Barrow also noted that high food prices have changed the profile of those threatened by hunger, not only in Africa, but globally.

"The World Food Program has most of its work concentrated in rural areas," he said. "We are finding in urban areas where consumers had been perhaps a little bit better protected because they often earn slightly more than their neighbors who live in the poor areas of the countryside, they are finding that those people who might spend 60, 70 or even 80 percent of their earnings on food needs are being hit particularly hard."

Because the World Food Program also has to buy the food from exporting countries, it is not immune to price hikes. Barrow said the agency's programs and projects in Africa are still on track.

"In Africa we have not had to make any cuts yet, but if we do not get a significant increase in our funding by the middle of this year then that is the point at which we have to seriously consider cutting rations or cutting programs," said Barrow.

However, on Tuesday, the organization said its available food, for Rwanda for example, was able to feed 40 percent fewer people than last June.

Donor governments and organizations have responded to the WFP's appeals with additional funds. On Tuesday, the European Commission announced another $185 million in food aid to cushion the impact of soaring prices.

The United States, which according to the World Food Program provides about 50 percent of all global food aid, has responded with an additional $200 million to help ease the crisis.

European Union Development Commissioner Louis Michel described the rise in basic food prices as an emerging worldwide humanitarian disaster.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs