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U.N. holds meetings on food prices

BERN, Switzerland, April 28 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is holding emergency talks to discuss skyrocketing food costs around the world, the United Nations said.

The two days of talks this week in Bern, Switzerland, include the president of the World Bank, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund and the heads of nearly 30 United Nations aid agencies, Voice of America reported Monday.

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About 100 million of the world's poorest people cannot afford to buy food because of the increasing costs for staples, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said.

"This kind of dramatic price increases can also trigger instability, particularly in poor countries and this is of great concern to UNHCR as well, because we are already seeing this happening in several countries," said spokesman Ron Redmond. "Of course, the possibility could be eventual increased displacement should it trigger further conflict and instability in those countries."

The Food and Agriculture Organization said increase in cereal prices have left 37 poor countries in an emergency situation, sparking food riots in countries including Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Egypt and Senegal.

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