US boosts food aid amid crisis over soaring commodity prices
US President George W Bush has ordered the release of 200 million dollars in emergency food aid, the White House announced Monday. ( dpa )
The move follows the weekend meetings in Washington, where World Bank President Robert Zoellick urged governments in developed countries to meet the World Food Programme's call for 500 million dollars in extra food aid by the end of April.
Relief agencies have cited rapidly spreading hunger and the threat of starvation in the poorest countries due to a spike in global prices for food commodities.
Bush's order on Monday would make 200 million dollars in food aid available through the US Agency for International Development to "address the impact of rising commodity prices on US emergency food aid programs, and be used to meet unanticipated food aid needs in Africa and elsewhere," the White House said in a statement.
The emergency US aid is in addition to annual US food aid to developing countries of more than 2.1 billion dollars.