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Will Increasing Food Prices Lead to More Revolution?

An upcoming food crisis could spread instability.


According to the World Bank, food prices are on the rise again. Impoverished people in third world countries already spend 50 percent of their budgets on food and many to worry that, with increased prices, millions more will slip into poverty, this according to a recent article by The Guardian:

"Global food prices are rising to dangerous levels and threaten tens of millions of poor people around the world," Zoellick said. "The price hike is already pushing millions of people into poverty, and putting stress on the most vulnerable, who spend more than half of their income on food.'


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Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank, added that food prices have risen 30 percent in the past year, close to the high prices reached in 2008. In 2008, food prices ignited riots across the third world, from Argentina to Bangladesh. In many ways, the current crisis has the opportunity to be worse than 2008.

The bank said that fewer people had fallen into poverty than in 2008 because of two factors – good harvests in many African countries had kept prices stable, and the increases in rice prices – a key part of the diet for many of the world's poor – had been moderate.

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Today, poorer harvests and an increase in food prices have caused 44 million people to enter poverty between June 2010 and January 2011. This occurred before food prices even reached their peak.

The World Bank is suggesting that increased levels in aid will lead to stability, but if food prices continue to rise what will stop revolutions from spreading to more countries?

Photo (From Flikr), Creative Common License Attribution 2.0, by Kodak Agfa

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