UN calls meeting on food price concerns

The United Nations’ food agency has called a special meeting of policy makers to discuss the recent rise in global food prices.

The announcement came after Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin extended the country’s ban on grain exports on Thursday.

This added to fears that prices of food staples would continue to rise.

The announcement by the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization followed Russia’s decision to extend its ban on wheat exports. The ban has been held as partly responsible for the 5 percent increase in food prices worldwide over the last two months, to their highest level in two years.

An agency spokesman, Christopher Matthews, said the meeting of the inter-governmental committee on grains will be held Sept. 24, most likely in Rome. He said a large number of member countries had expressed concern about a possible repeat of the 2008 food crisis.

Mozambique saw deadly riots this week triggered in part by an increase in the price of bread. There has also been anger over rising prices in Egypt and Serbia, while in Pakistan — where floods destroyed a fifth of the country’s crops — the prices of many food items have risen 15 percent.

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