World food programme urges for urgent funding

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Rocketing food prices send UN food aid budget soaring.

18 April 2008

GENEVA - The UN World Food Programme (WFP) issued another appeal for urgent funding Friday, the second in just under two months, due to escalating global food prices.

The skyrocketing prices of basic foods such as wheat and rice meant WFP needed an extra USD 756 million in addition to the USD 2.9 billion approved in October to provide assistance for 73 million people in 80 countries.

The organisation had already asked for an extra USD 500 million in February to fill the funding shortfall but the continuing rise in prices meant this was no longer sufficient and the funding gap was likely to increase further.

"We are not looking at a picture, we are watching a movie," said WFP spokes woman Christiane Berthiaume.

The cost of rice bought by WFP from Thailand had risen from USD 460 a ton to USD 756 in five weeks since early March.

So far the organisation had received USD 900 million in donations - less than a quarter of its needs for the year.

[dpa / Expatica]

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