Global food prices rose 10 percent in July because of severe droughts in both the U.S. and Eastern Europe, threatening the world’s poor, according to the World Bank Group’s latest Food Price Watch report.
“Food prices rose again sharply, threatening the health and well-being of millions of people,” World Bank Group’s President Yim Yong Kim said. “Africa and the Middle East are particularly vulnerable, but so are people in other countries where the prices of grains have gone up abruptly,”
Maiz, which is most largely exported by the U.S., and wheat prices rose by a record-high percentage from June to July, caused by damages to summer crops after a severe drought.
A contributing factor to the rise in U.S. prices is its use in producing ethanol biofuel, which represents 40 percent of U.S. corn production.
According to the Food Price Watch report, “prices are expected to remain high and volatile in the long-run as a consequence of increasing supply uncertainties, higher demand from a growing population on the low responsiveness of the food system.
“We cannot allow these historic price hikes to turn into a lifetime of perils as families take their children out of school and eat less nutritious food to compensate for the high prices,” Kim said.