Did you know that the price of rice (in the global commodities market) had doubled since January? And that wheat, corn, soya and others agricultural commodities have been 'surging since 2006' according to the FT. Their latest report says "Rice prices jumped 30 per cent to an all-time high on Thursday, raising fears of fresh outbreaks of social unrest across Asia where the grain is a staple food for more than 2.5bn people."
Meanwhile last month the UN said they were "drawing up plans to ration food aid in response to the spiralling cost of agricultural commodities. The World Food Programme is holding crisis talks to decide what aid to halt if new donations do not arrive in the short term. "The main focus of the WFP to date has been to provide aid in areas where food was unavailable. But the programme now faces having to help countries where the price of food, rather than shortages, is the problem. Ms Sheeran said that in response to rising food costs, families in developing countries were moving in some cases from three meals a day to just one, or dropping a diverse diet to rely on one staple food." "The WFP crisis talks come as the body sees the emergence of a “new area of hunger” in developing countries where even middle-class, urban people are being “priced out of the food market” because of rising food prices."
Seriously worrying, brings to mind Thomas Homer Dixon's idea of synchronous failure; multiple global crises acting in concert.
Plus it's heart rending simply to know that an even higher than usual proportion of the world's children will have gone to bed hungry tonight.