A "new norm" of high and volatile food prices is unacceptable as millions of people continue to suffer from hunger and to die from malnutrition, the World Bank Group (WBG) warned on Thursday.
Global food prices remain at high levels, or 7 percent higher than a year ago. Grains are 12 percent above their levels 12 months before and very close to the all-time high of 2008. Maize was 17 percent higher than in October 2011 and 10 percent above the record-high prices of February 2011, the WBG said in its latest Food Price Watch report.
"A new norm of high prices seems to be consolidating. The world cannot afford to be complacent to this trend while 870 million people still live in hunger and millions of children die every year from preventable diseases caused by malnutrition," said Otaviano Canuto, WBG's vice president for Poverty Reduction and Economic Management.
"Although we haven't seen a food crisis as the one of 2008, food security should remain a priority. We need additional efforts to strengthen nutrition programs, safety nets, and sustainable agriculture, especially when the right actions can bring about exceptional benefits," added Canuto.