Food Crisis Lurks in Soaring Prices, Says IMF Chief

Predicts widespread starvation, conflict
By Kate Rockwood,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2008 9:44 AM CDT
A handful of corn is shown before it is processed at the Tall Corn Ethanol plant in Coon Rapids, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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(Newser) – Rising food prices may soon have dire global consequences with starving people rioting in the streets, warns the head of the International Monetary Fund. “Hundred of thousands of people will be starving,” he said yesterday at a meeting in Washington. “Children will be suffering from malnutrition, with consequences for all their lives.” Climbing food prices will lead to increased trade imbalances in developing countries, with major ramifications.

Food riots have already rattled several countries, including Haiti, the Philippines, and Egypt, reports the BBC. Increased food demand, poor weather in some areas, and a boom in crops used for alternative fuels have led to sharply rising food prices in recent months. The IMF called for “strong action” to also deal with the continued financial fallout from the housing bust and credit crunch.