The Islamic Development Bank is earmarking $1.5 billion for poor Muslim countries to help them tackle the impact of the global food crisis. The money is meant for boosting food security and increasing agricultural production over the next five years and will reportedly be given as a soft loan. The Islamic Development Bank is a multilateral development bank established to foster economic development and social progress in its member countries, and help Muslim communities in its non-member countries. The food crisis is affecting many countries in the Middle East. Those hit hardest are the poorer populations, which depend on staple foods such as bread for their sustenance. Over the past few months, food riots have taken place in Egypt, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan. Hundreds of Egyptians attacked two trucks carrying food north of Cairo on Monday, to protest cuts in food subsidies. Rioters hurled stones at the wheat-distributing trucks after the allocation of subsidized bread was cut by half, meaning a family is entitled to 10 pita bread a day instead of 20. The announcement of the funding coincides with the Rome Food Summit, sponsored by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. The summit is addressing the problem of soaring food prices worldwide. The world food crisis has emerged from a number of factors, including the rise in oil and energy prices; the economic boom in nations such as India and China, which is increasing demand; climate and weather-related events such as droughts and floods and competition between food and fuel, where more land and agricultural crops are being used for bio-fuels rather than food.