U.S. to Scale Back Global Food Aid Amid Soaring Prices

The world’s hungry soon will find even slimmer pickings when it comes to emergency food aid from the United States, whose humanitarian relief agency is scaling back amid skyrocketing global prices, The Washington Post reports.

The U.S. Agency for International Development plans to reduce the number of recipient nations, the amount of food given or a combination, the story says.

Officials based their decision on a 41 percent increase in the cost of wheat, corn, rice and other cereals over the last six months, which resulted in a $120 million budget shortfall that is expected to rise to $200 million by 2009.

The prices have risen as more of the grains are being consumed by biofuel production and fast-growing markets in China and India, The Washington Post reports.

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