World food prices at record high. - 6 Mar 2011  
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On Thursday, March 3, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced that continued unprecedented rises for eight consecutive months has resulted in February's levels being the highest since record-keeping began 20 years ago.

Reasons behind the steep increases are thought to include ongoing adverse weather conditions due to climate change, such as in Canada where rising temperatures have significantly reduced wheat production, in China following severe droughts, and Russia after the catastrophic heat wave and fires.

Other factors include higher oil prices, which affect food production and transportation and internal conflicts as well as disasters that spur governments and individuals to stockpile staples. With the FAO forecasting continued rises for the rest of the year, fears of an unfolding food shortage crisis are being raised.

Highlighting the seriousness of the situation and the need for actions such as curbing market speculation and food-based biofuels, Oxfam's food policy adviser Thierry Kesteloot stated, “Millions more people are sliding into poverty as they struggle to afford basic food supplies. A sit-and-wait attitude among governments in the hope that there will be good harvests over the next few months means gambling with people's lives.”

We are thankful for the concerned observations of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in raising awareness of this global issue.

Our prayers for the enactment of sustainable measures that ensure plentiful sustenance for all. Speaking about the long-term rise in global food prices and shortages during an October 2009 videoconference in Indonesia, Supreme Master Ching Hai expressed concern while offering a comprehensive solution.

Supreme Master Ching Hai : There are 1.02 billion people with not enough food in the world. While we are sitting here in safety and comfort, and have sufficient food for ourselves and our family, our neighboring people, our world co-citizens, more than one billion of them, are living in poverty, in hunger, in thirst. No sufficient water, no clean water, no food to eat. Children are dying every few seconds. Statistically, every five seconds one child dies of hunger.

Besides, we are facing a food shortage with high food prices. The most important first step is to stop buying and eating meat, fish, eggs, dairy, and any animal products for you and for your family's sake,

for the natural resources' sake, and to plant the seeds for a better agricultural system for everyone. In this way, not only can all the farmers prosper - we help them in this way - but everyone will prosper and enjoy a long and thriving life. ,