Germany said it will offer another 10 million euros ($15.8 million) to the United Nations World Food Program as UN chief Ban Ki-Moon calls for action to tackle the growing global food crisis.
Even the price of basics, like rice, has soared
As world food prices soar, German Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul said her country will provide an extra 10 million euros ($15.8 million) to the United Nations World Food Program as many parts of the globe stagger from surging food prices.
Wieczorek-Zeul told the daily Berliner Zeitung on Tuesday, April 15, that Germany would augment its normal 23-million-euro contribution by an extra 10 million. She said her ministry had already made an additional three million euros available in March.
Rice is a staple in many part of the world -- like here, in Indonesia
The United States announced on Monday that it would provide 126 million euros ($200 million) in emergency food aid to help alleviate the global food problem. Rapidly rising food prices have been causing widespread hunger and violence in various countries around the world.
US press secretary Dana Perino said in a statement that the additional food aid would "address the impact of rising commodity prices on US emergency food aid programs and be used to meet unanticipated food aid needs in Africa and elsewhere."
Food prices have doubled
The World Bank said on Sunday that food prices had doubled over the past three years, threatening to push 100 million people in developing countries even further into poverty.
World Bank President Robert Zoellick called on governments to act quickly and provide the Food Program with 316 million euros in emergency aid it requires by May 1.
Earlier, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said both emergency and
long-term action was needed to combat the growing global food crisis. He warned that it could prompt political upheavals and security risks.
Poor and overpopulated Bangladesh is particularly vulnerable to soaring food prices
"The rapidly escalating crisis of food availability around the world has reached emergency proportions," he said at a joint meeting of UN financial, economic and trade institutions at UN headquarters in New York.
"We need not only short-term emergency measures to meet urgent critical needs and avert starvation in many regions across the world, but also a significant increase in long-term productivity in food grain production," Ban said at the meeting.
Food shortage triggers violence
He also noted that climate change posed a threat to long-term global economic growth and sustainable development.
"Developing countries need external assistance -- especially better technology and increased financing -- to rise to this challenge," he said.
Supplies of basic food commodities have dwindled in regions around the world as demand has soared, resulting in riots and violence from Haiti to Indonesia.