WFP: averting high food prices in Africa

Published on 16 February 2009

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has launched its first food voucher operation in Africa, deploying a new tool to address hunger in an urban environment where food is available, but beyond the reach of many because of high prices. In a statement received here Monday, the UN agency said the new voucher program is targeting 120,000 people who are suffering from the impact of high food prices in urban areas of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, where the prices of basic staples such as millet and sorghum are more than 25 percent higher than they were last year. "Sometimes it makes more sense to give people vouchers than bags of food," said Annalisa Conte, WFP Country Director in Burkina Faso. "This is an innovative solution to hunger needs among people who live in a city where shops and market stalls may be full of produce, but prices are still too high for the poor and the vulnerable."

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