Rising prices threaten global stability

April 7, 2008 at 4:05 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, April 7 (UPI) -- The United Nations says the surge in food prices around the world could lead to massive unrest and instability.

U.N. World Food Program Executive Director Josette Sheeran says the recent escalation of tensions in Haiti where four people died in rioting over food should serve as an example for what could happen around the world with the growing inflation of food prices. Sheeran is calling on the international community to increase funding for food and other lifesaving assistance or risk facing new security concerns in desperate areas, the United Nations reports.

"What we see in Haiti is what we're seeing in many of our operations around the world -- rising prices that mean less food for the hungry," Sheeran said in a statement. "A new face of hunger is emerging. Even where food is available on the shelves, there are now more and more people who simply cannot afford it. … At this critical time, we need to stand with the people of Haiti and other countries hardest hit by rising food prices."

U.N. officials say the WFP is asking for $96 million to support it mission in Haiti. Sheeran says the WFP currently only has enough money to support operations throughout April.

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