The United Kingdom has given 910 million dollars following appeals made by the United Nations to overcome spiraling global food prices in the world.
A statement released in Accra on Tuesday at the 12th UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) meeting said Douglas Alexander, the UK International Development Secretary, announced the package in London on Tuesday.
It said the package, which was designed to address short and long-term solutions to the crisis, was approved by the British Parliament on Tuesday.
It said 60 million dollars would support recent appeals by the World Food Programme for countries most at risk, 800 million dollars over five years devoted to agricultural research and 50 million dollars to boost the income of poorest people in Ethiopia especially.
The statement said Alexander was to chair a meeting on Tuesday on the issue to discuss how to strengthen the response to the growing crisis.
It quoted him as saying: “Rising food prices are common for us all, affecting the poor in every society. But in the poorest countries in the world millions are going without food every day, creating social division and unrest.”
The World Bank has reported that prices of staples have jumped up by 80 per cent since 2005.
The price of rice for instance, hit a 19-year high last month, and wheat rose to a 28-year high, twice the average price of the last 25 years.
Factors behind the surge in prices are varied, including bad weather in some regions, soaring demand from growing populations, rising oil prices and use of bio-fuel.
The sharply rising prices have triggered food riots in countries such as Mexico, Morocco, Senegal, Egypt, Cote d’Ivoire, Uzbekistan, Guinea, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Yemen.