Meanwhile, a Global Food Crisis Mark Leon Goldberg March 24, 2008 Once again, the World Food Program is warning that unless donors step up it will have to start rationing food aid. The Rome-based World Food Program said it issued the appeal in a letter sent to governments on Thursday, urging them to be as generous as possible by May 1 so the WFP will not have to begin rationing food aid. The agency estimates that in Darfur alone it needs to provide emergency food for as many as 3 million people daily. The organization, the world's largest humanitarian agency, gives food to as many as 70 million people worldwide. Earlier this month, WFP executive director Josette Sheeran said that the high prices of food and oil have been swelling the ranks of the hungry since last summer, and cautioned that the crisis would continue for several years. Sheeran said that a 40 percent rise in the cost of fuel and commodities such as grain since mid-2007 have raised the cost of food and transport, causing the shortfall in the agency's 2008 budget. The WFP says it needs $125 million to cover transportation costs and $375 million to purchase new food stocks. But this is just the humanitarian face of a larger global crisis. As Ban wrote a couple weeks ago rising food prices are also fomenting political instability around the world.