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Monday, April 21, 2008

International Monetary Fund warms of food riots

Worst may still be to come in food rioting, IMF head says (Roundup)

Apr 18, 2008, 9:00 GMT

Paris - The worst of the instability and rioting caused by the skyrocketing cost of staple foods may yet come, International Monetary Fund (IMF) head Dominique Strauss-Kahn told a French radio station on Friday.

'The worst of the crisis may be before us,' Strauss-Kahn, a former French finance minister, told Europe 1 radio. 'Hundreds of millions of people will be affected.'

The IMF head also said that democratically elected governments may be toppled because of the crisis, even though they enacted correct policies.

Strauss-Kahn also invoked the possibility of regional warfare provoked by the rising cost of foods such as maize, rice and wheat.

'History is full of wars that began because of events like this,' he warned.

High staple-food prices recently sparked violence in several countries, including Egypt and Haiti.

Addressing the issue, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Friday that Paris would double its food aid to poor nations, 'bringing it to 60 million euros (95 million dollars) for 2008.'

'It is urgent to act in order to reinforce food security,' Sarkozy said at an international conference on the environment and energy in Paris. 'The food crisis calls for immediate responses, as well as an ambitious strategy to aid agriculture.'

Worst may still be to come in food rioting, IMF head says (Roundup) - Business

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