World Bank: High food prices could last three years

The prices of staple foods such as rice could stay high for the next three years, hindering the battle against poverty, a top World Bank official said on Tuesday.

Food prices had risen at a ”startling” speed, giving governments and communities little time to respond, the bank’s managing director, Juan Jose Daboub, said.

”This phenomenon is here to stay for a few years. This is not a few weeks, a few months thing. It could be two or three years … It’s not a short-term phenomenon,” Daboub told reporters at a forum in Singapore.

Escalating global prices of foodstuffs such as maize, rice and wheat have sparked protests in many countries, including in Asia, and raised the fear that many of the world’s poor face hunger.

”For those who live in Asia, an international rice price of over $1 000 a ton is unprecedented, and it hurts, because rice makes up one-third of the daily calorie intake of the typical household,” Daboub said.

Food prices in United States dollar terms were more than two-and-a-half times higher than in early 2002, he added.

”In real terms, rice prices are now higher than at any time since the commodity price shocks in the mid-1970s,” he said.

About 75% of the food price increases occurred over the past 16 months, and more than half in just over the last four months, he added.

”We need to work on a new deal for food policy in order to address the short-term need while keeping in mind that it is going to take longer to alleviate the situation,” Daboub said.

Soaring food and fuel prices have pushed 100-million people back into poverty, he said, adding the timetable for cutting poverty could be set back by seven years if high prices persisted for the next three years.– Sapa-AFP

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

No good will come of overturning Roe v Wade

The US supreme court’s ruling on landmark abortion case will be felt most keenly by women

Citizens expect ‘bloodshed’ ahead of Zim’s 2023 elections

Human rights body says research indicates the polls are viewed as a nightmare instead of an opportunity

New Joburg high school boasts a R3m eSports Arena

The tech-forward school requires every child to purchase an Asus laptop, use Microsoft software for lessons and check-in daily on a mental wellbeing app

UPDATED: Eskom confirms stage dix load-shedding from 4pm to 10pm...

The power utility says it experienced unplanned losses of 14 204 megawatts as wage-related protest action intensified
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×