Food aid to poor may be affected: UN

Wold Food Programme Executive Director Josette Sheeran

Wold Food Programme Executive Director  said the organisation is hoping to reach 108 million people in 74 countries this year with food aid, but the UN body expects to receive only USD 3.7 billion of the USD 6.7 billion needed for 2009.

"We are actively cutting USD 3 billion of our programme -- which means a reduction in rations and programmes throughout the world, including those to the world's most vulnerable people," Sheeran told reporters here.

In Bangladesh, for example, the agency sought to feed five million people this year, but must now cut back to reaching only 1.4 million, with a school feeding programme only feeding 70,000 children out of the original target of 3,00,000.

Sheeran said the food crisis is still raging in the developing world where high food prices are exacerbated by the impact of the current economic slump.

Data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) shows that in most developing countries, food prices are higher at present than it used to be a year ago.

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