WASHINGTON — World Bank President Robert Zoellick says global food prices have hit "dangerous levels" that could contribute to political instability, push millions of people into poverty and raise the cost of groceries.
The bank says in a new report that global food prices have jumped 29 percent in the past year, and are just 3 percent below the all-time peak hit in 2008. Zoellick says the rising prices have hit people hardest in the developing world because they spend as much as half their income on food.
The World Bank estimates higher prices for corn, wheat and oil have pushed 44 million people into extreme poverty during the year.
Zoellick said he expects food prices to continue to rise, and that export bans and weather disruptions are partly to blame.