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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Hunger facts

World Bank forecasts next decade's food prices to be 25 percent higher

The World Bank forecasts food prices to be, on average, about 25 percent higher during 2009 to 2018 compared with 1999 to 2007.

Ladling soup into a bowlFor poor consumers, who spend up to 60 percent of their incomes on staple foods, volatility in prices means a strong reduction in their effective purchasing power, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

The World Bank reports: "When faced with high prices and left to their own devices, food-insecure households have few options other than to reduce their current levels of food consumption, shift to lower quality and less-expensive foods, or forego critical expenditures on health and education."

Describing the global food crisis as a "man-made problem," the World Bank says "high fuel costs have resulted in higher agriculture costs, falling food stocks and land shifted out of food production to create biofuels." For example, farmers are diverting food crops, like corn, into ethanol production, leaving less food available for human consumption.


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