Food prices pose 'risk of hunger riots': France

4th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

France on Friday warned of a "risk of hunger riots" because of rising world food prices, which the UN food agency in Rome said reached a record high last month.

"There is a real risk of hunger riots," French Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire said at a joint press conference with Jacques Diouf, head of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

France is currently the chair of the G20 group of leading world economies and has promised to curb food price volatility.

The FAO on Thursday said food prices have reached their highest level since the UN agency began measuring them in 1990.

The FAO's index measuring monthly variations for a variety of staples rose 3.4 percent from December 2010 to reach 231 points.

A previous spike in food prices in 2007 and 2008 triggered food riots in a number of African countries, as well as in Haiti and the Philippines.

The average for the index in 2008 was 100 points.

Oxfam has said the current rise in food prices "should ring alarm bells in capitals around the world" because it threatens millions of people with hunger.

© 2011 AFP

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