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The UN food agency says it is facing critical funding shortages that have forced it to cut aid deliveries to millions of people facing starvation.
The World Food Programme (WFP) said it could have to close parts of its airway, used to fly aid workers to humanitarian trouble-spots.
Deliveries have already been suspended to north Uganda, Ivory Coast and Niger.
The organisation has issued similar warnings in the past when facing funding shortages.
The pope and Obama discussed issues that represent "a great challenge for the future of every nation and for the true progress of peoples, such as the defense and promotion of life and the right to abide by one's conscience," according to a Vatican statement released after the audience.
The two men also discussed world issues addressed at the G-8 summit, as well as immigration and the issue of reuniting families, the Vatican statement said.
The meeting with the pope and a separate 20-minute meeting with Cardinal Bertone also touched on international politics, such as the peace process in the Middle East, "on which there was general agreement."
"Dialogue between cultures and religions, the global economic crisis and its ethical implications, food security, development aid -- especially for Africa and Latin America -- and the problem of drug trafficking" were discussed, the Vatican said.
For anyone who understands the current food crisis, it is hard to listen to the head of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick, without gagging.
Earlier this week, Zoellick waxed apocalyptic about the consequences of the global surge in prices, arguing that free trade had become a humanitarian necessity, to ensure that poor people had enough to eat. The current wave of food riots has already claimed the prime minister of Haiti, and there have been protests around the world, from Mexico, to Egypt, to India.
The reason for the price rise is perfect storm of high oil prices, an increasing demand for meat in developing countries, poor harvests, population growth, financial speculation and biofuels. But prices have fluctuated before. The reason we're seeing such misery as a result of this particular spike has everything to do with Zoellick and his friends