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December 26, 2007 01:27PM
http://canberra.yourguide.com.au/news/local/news-features/un-issues-warning-of-critical-food-shortages-the-livelihoods-of-billions-of-people-will-be-se/1151741.html

UN issues warning of critical food shortages

Almost 40 countries are facing critical food shortages as world food prices soar to record levels, the United Nations warns.
The world's food supplies are rapidly dwindling due to crop failures caused by global warming, natural disasters, wars, and a trend away from farming food crops to growing biofuels and grain to feed cattle, the agency says.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation's global food price index reached its highest level this year, rising by more than 40 per cent, compared with 9 per cent last year.
"There is a very serious risk that there will be less people able to get access to food because of prices," FAO head Jacques Diouf said.
The cost of imported food for the world's poorest countries has risen by 25 per cent this year to about $US107 billion the highest on record. Countries facing critical food shortages include 20 African countries as well as Iraq, Afghanistan, Nepal and Pakistan.
Food riots caused by shortages and rising prices have also occurred in Mexico, Morocco, Uzbekistan, Yemen and Senegal.
In its monthly analysis of global food prices, the FAO said there had been an unprecedented "hike in world prices of, not just a selected few, but of nearly all, major food and feed commodities".
Rarely had the world felt such "a widespread and commonly shared concern about food price inflation," the FAO analysis said. In Australia, food prices have increased by 12percent over the past two years, chiefly because of drought and crop shortages linked to global climate change.
Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows prices for bread and eggs have increased by 17 per cent since 2005, vegetables by 33 per cent, honey by 100 per cent, dairy products by 11percent and fruit by 43 per cent.................
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