Poverty rises in Philippines due to higher food prices, lingering effects of Typhoon Haiyan

Officials say poverty worsened in the Philippines in the first half of 2014 due to a rapid rise in food prices and the lingering effects of a killer typhoon

Socio-economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said Friday that poverty incidence among Filipinos rose 1.2 percentage point to 25.8 percent in the first half of last year from the same period in 2013.

He says high food prices, particularly of the staple rice, and effects of Typhoon Haiyan that devastated the central Philippines in 2013, wiped out per capita income gains despite rapid economic growth last year.

Rice prices rose 11.9 percent in the first half of 2014 as supplies tightened due to lean harvests and lower imports.