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A "SILENT tsunami" unleashed by costlier food is threatening 100million people, the United Nations has warned, revealing that its World Food Program has begun cutting the provision of school meals to some of the world's poorest children as the global food-price crisis worsens.
Britain has also pledged $US900million ($947 million) to help the UN World Food Program alleviate its immediate problems and address longer-term solutions to "help put food on the table for nearly a billion people going hungry across the world".
Riots in poor Asian and African countries have followed steep rises in food prices caused by many factors: rising demand from consumers in developing countries such as China and India, the effect of climate change on food production, dearer fuel and the conversion of land to grow crops for biofuel.
"The era of cheap food is over," said Rajat Nag, managing director general of the Asian Development Bank.