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[Published: Wednesday October 15 2008]

High food costs 'a globalburden'

London, 16 Oct-(ANA)- Almosttwo-thirds of people - 60% - in 26 countries say higher food and energy pricesthis year have affected them "a great deal", a BBC report has found.

The said that while allnations had felt the burden of the higher costs, the problem was most acute inpoorer countries.

The Philippines wasone of the worst hit of those nations questioned.

Elsewhere, the aid agencyOxfam said, more than 900 million people faced starvation because of soaringprices.

A report by the UK-basedcharity also found that spiralling inflation in the cost of basic foods such asrice and cereals had pushed an extra 119 million people into hunger this year.

Food costs are also nowexpected to start to decline, as lower oil and petrol prices mean cheaperfertiliser and reduced distribution costs, among other contributory factors.

The study found that manypeople in the developing world have simply been forced to eat less this yearowing to the higher cost of food.

This situation was mostacute in the Philippines and Panama,where 63% of respondents said they had cut back on what they ate.

Kenya was the next mostaffected, with 61% saying they were eating less, followed by Nigeria, at58%.

Across all 26 countries,43% of people said they had altered their diet.

This was most apparent in Panama, with 71% switching to cheaper foods,followed by Egypt, 67%, Kenya, 64%, and again, the Philippines,63%. (ANA)

FA/ANA/16 October 2008---

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