UN food chief urges crisis action

The head of the UN World Food Programme has said urgent action is required to stimulate food production and help the poor cope with soaring food prices.

Josette Sheeran told the BBC that an additional 100 million people, who did not need assistance six months ago, could not now afford to purchase food.

Her warning came ahead of a meeting in London to discuss the rise in prices and an EU policy encouraging biofuels.

Biofuels are intended to tackle climate change but can take away farm land.

Earlier, Latin American leaders had warned about the growth in production of biofuels, which are derived from plant crops.

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