This is pretty bad news. In February, the World Food Program predicted that it would need an additional $500 million to feed all the 73 million people that depend on WFP food aid. Food prices have risen so sharply since then, the WFP has had to re-calculate its costs. Today, the WFP is asking for an additional $750 million to the $2.9 billion for which it has already asked. From the UN News Center:
In late February, WFP announced that it required an additional $500 million, on top of its original appeal for this year of $2.9 billion, to carry out its efforts, but surging food prices have led WFP to revise that figure upwards to $756 million.
The cost of rice in Thailand, for example, swelled from $460 per ton on 3 March to $780 five weeks later.
WFP warned that prices could rice even higher. “We are not looking at a picture anymore, we are watching a movie,” the agency’s Christiane Berthiaume told reporters in Geneva today. To date, $900 million has been received towards WFP’s original appeal.