UN May Cut Aid During Hunger Crisis

Rising food costs force agency to rethink relief plan
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2008 6:54 PM CST
In this photo released by the United Nations World Food Program, North Korean small children sit at a nursery in Sohung County, in North Korea's North Hwanghae, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2008. (AP Photo/United...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A UN hunger relief agency is in crisis talks today over concerns that it has to slash worldwide aid, the Financial Times reports. Officials at the World Food Programme said today that rising food prices are forcing up their budget by millions of dollars per week. “Our ability to reach people is going down just as the needs go up,” said Executive Director Josette Sheeran.

The costs are sparking a wave of hunger in developing nations and also among the middle class in countries like Mexico, Yemen, and Indonesia, the BBC reports. "In some of these developing countries, prices have gone up 80% for staple food" like rice and wheat, Sheeran said. "When you see those kinds of increases, they are simply priced out of the food markets." (Read more World Food Program stories.)