World Bank concerned about increase in food prices globally

WASHINGTON (CIHAN)- International prices of food increased by 4 percent in recent months and the World Bank Group is concerned that food riots could lead to political instability in some regions.

Jose Cuesta, Senior Economist, World Bank Group said “in this issue of the Food Price Watch, we find that prices of international food have gone up by 4 percent between January and April 2014, which is the first increase observed in the last 18 months. The prices of wheat and maize have gone up sharply and this is because of increases for demand as well as weather issues. Regarding the rising prices we’ve seen that they have stabilized and this is typically because of seasonal factors as well as other issues regarding food supplies from last year.”

The report notes that rising food prices can exacerbate conflict and political instability, Dozens of violent episodes erupted across the world during the food price hikes of 2007 and 2008 – making adequate monitoring essential.

Cuesta said “we have to be vigilant about increasing food prices because we have known for a long time that conflict leads to food insecurity, but we have now evidenced that food insecurity can also lead to conflict so we have to be vigilant that these food price increases, if they are to continue, we may have consequences on the political instability especially in Africa and South and East Asia.”

Prices of wheat and maize have spiked despite continued projections of record grain harvests. The increase is due in part to global weather conditions known as El Niño.

SHOTLIST:
FILE – 2011, NICARAGUA

Grain prices at market
Woman pouring rice into sack at market

FILE – 2013, INDIA

Woman purchasing fruit at market stand
Woman placing fruit into bag for purchase

29 MAY 2014, WASHINGTON DC

VAR of statements of Jose Cuesta

FILE – 2014, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

Food stand at market
Woman cutting fruit with knife
Woman cutting fruit with knife

FILE – 2013, INDIA

Man purchasing food from market stand

FILE – 2012, BRAZIL

Woman pushing shopping cart in grocery store
Woman putting pears in plastic bag
Woman paying for pears in store

SOUNDBITE (English) Jose Cuesta, Senior Economist, The World Bank Group:
“In this issue of the Food Price Watch, we find that prices of international food have gone up by 4% between January and April 2014, which is the first increase observed in the last 18 months. The prices of wheat and maize have gone up sharply and this is because of increases for demand as well as weather issues. Regarding the rising prices we’ve seen that they have stabilized and this is typically because of seasonal factors as well as other issues regarding food supplies from last year.”

SOUNDBITE (English) Jose Cuesta, Senior Economist, The World Bank Group:
“We have to be vigilant about increasing food prices because we have known for a long time that conflict leads to food insecurity, but we have now evidenced that food insecurity can also lead to conflict so we have to be vigilant that these food price increases, if they are to continue, we may have consequences on the political instability especially in Africa and South and East Asia.”

SOURCE: CIHAN

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