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World Bank Food Price Watch August 2011

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Working Papers & Briefs
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Market / Trade
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Risk assessment
World Bank Poverty Reduction and Equity Group

More than 12 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance in the Horn of Africa as a result of a devastating drought, and conflict, civil unrest, and displacement in Somalia. The acute malnutrition rate in some areas of Somalia has exceeded 40 percent among children under five years of age. The disaster has hit the most vulnerable. In Somalia, out of 3.7 million people in crisis, 3.2 million are in urgent need, and 2.8 million of these people are in the south. Domestic food prices have been soaring in the region. Prices of the two major commodities, red sorghum and white maize, have increased by between 30 to 240 percent in Somalia.

Domestic food prices continue to fluctuate widely. The annual price changes in maize in the 12 months up to June 2011 ranged from increases of more than 100 percent in Kampala (Uganda) to reductions of 19 percent in Port-au- Prince (Haiti) and Mexico City. Domestic prices of some staples have increased sharply in Central and South America and East Africa. For example, maize prices in the Dominican Republic and Colombia increased by 82 and 25 percent, respectively, between April and June 2011.