UN official warns of new face of hunger

DUBAI — A senior official of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) yesterday warned that the world was facing a new manifestation of hunger that would take the require the efforts of the global community, including humanitarian organisations, governments and the private sector, to overcome.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Fri 11 Apr 2008, 9:54 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:48 PM

John Powell, WFP Deputy Executive Director, was addressing a high-level humanitarian conference in Dubai.

"Food prices are now rising at rates that few of us have ever seen before in our lifetimes," Powell told the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development (DIHAD) conference.

He said the high prices were placing food out of reach of the most vulnerable people and to an unprecedented extent among the urban poor.

"We are particularly concerned with the emergence of what might be called a new face of hunger, characterised by markets full of food but with large numbers of people simply unable to afford it," Powell said.

His remarks follow similar comments made at the same conference on Tuesday by UN Undersecretary General Sir John Holmes, who said the rising food prices could spark worldwide unrest and threatened political stability.

In the past few weeks, violent protests over rising food prices have erupted in a number of countries, including in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Senegal, Morocco and, most recently, in Haiti, where at least five people have died in riots.

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