Libyan strife could push millions into hunger, EU commissioner says
Feb 28, 2011, 12:37 GMT
Brussels - The ongoing conflict in Libya and its impact on oil and food prices could push tens of millions of people around the world close to starvation, the European Union's commissioner for humanitarian issues warned Monday.
Oil prices have shot up to levels not seen since the beginning of the worldwide financial crash of September 2008 as turmoil has engulfed North Africa, with food prices soaring in their wake.
'With oil shooting up, what we see is, unfortunately, the trend of increasing food prices ... and that can push millions and millions of people into hunger,' Kristalina Georgieva told journalists in Brussels.
Georgieva was speaking at a briefing on the EU's humanitarian response to the conflict in Libya.
The number of people facing chronic hunger around the world fell to an estimated 880 million before the financial crash of 2008, but has risen since, she said.
Following the Libyan crisis, 'the number will be over a billion: how much over, the next days and weeks will tell us,' Georgieva said.
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