Global food crisis a silent tsunami: WFP

April 22nd, 2008 - 7:13 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Gordon Brown
London, April 22 (DPA) The UN World Food Programme (WFP) Tuesday compared the escalating global food crisis to a “silent tsunami” that could plunge more than 100 million people into hunger and poverty. Josette Sheeran, executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP), said the international community needed to respond like it did to 2004’s giant Indian Ocean wave which killed 250,000 people and left 10 million destitute.

Sheeran spoke in London ahead of talks on the global food crisis convened by Prime Minister Gordon Brown in Downing Street, attended by aid organisations, agricultural experts and representatives of leading supermarket chains.

“This is the new face of hunger - the millions of people who were not in the urgent hunger category six months ago but now are,” Sheeran said ahead of the meeting.

“The response calls for large-scale, high-level action by the global community, focused on emergency and longer-term solutions,” she said.

Experts believe high food prices have pushed around 100 million people deeper into poverty, requiring a response like the record 6 billion pounds 9 (about $11 billion) given to help the tsunami victims, she said.

“We need that same kind of action and generosity. What we are seeing now is affecting more people on every continent, destroying even more livelihoods and the nutrition losses will hurt children for a lifetime.”

Earlier Tuesday, Brown again urged co-ordinated international action to deal with the food crisis that has sparked riots in a number of countries.

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