Food price rises will increase deaths from malnutrition, Swiss foundation warns

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 24 April 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:912
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

The health of at least 100 million people in poor nations could be adversely affected by the sharp increase in international prices for staple foods unless steps are taken to tackle the problem, a Swiss foundation has warned. Malnutrition kills about 3.5 million mothers and children under 5 years old every year, and this figure could rise.

“We think the malnutrition death figures will go up, and you will see some other figures, like the 178 million children stunted each year, that will increase as well,” said Marc Van Ameringen, executive director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, a foundation that aims to fight malnutrition by mobilising public-private partnerships.

Violent demonstrations and riots have recently broken out in more than a dozen poor countries in protest at the rise in prices, which for some commodities, …

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