UN May Cut Food Rations for Schoolkids

Soaring food prices raise 'world's misery index,' group says
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2008 12:38 PM CDT
The World Food Program says food rations for schoolchildren may be cut if the agency doesn't receive more donations.   (AP Photo/United Nations World Food Program, Lena Savelli, HO)
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(Newser) – Food rations for hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren may be cut because of surging crop prices that have widened the World Food Program’s funding gap to $750 million, Reuters says. The UN food aid agency also blamed the situation on high fuel prices and reductions in new crop plantings. “The world’s misery index is rising,” the program’s top exec warned.

Josette Sheeran added that poor people are now forced to skip meals or choose less nutritious foods. The US has pledged $200 million, but more donations are needed. Otherwise, “We will face in the next couple of weeks the need to cut at least 400,000 children from school feeding,” Sheeran said, noting most poor people “don’t know what hit them.”