A spike in food prices has triggered deadly riots in Mozambique this week, where the government declared the price hikes “irreversible” after an emergency cabinet meeting. Two of those killed are reported to have been children. Some 25 businesses were looted or damaged, and 12 buses attack by the protesters. The price of bread has risen by about 30% in the past year in Mozambique. The violence has been the worst in Mozambique since 2008, when clashes between police and rioters over rising prices left at least four people dead. (BBC News, Sept. 2)
Experts worry other countries that saw such unrest during the 2008 global food crisis could be hit again. Over the last two months alone, food prices worldwide have risen 5%. “I think everyone is wondering if we are going to have a repeat of 2008 when… there were food riots around the world,” said Johanna Nesseth Tuttle, director of the Global Food Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
In Egypt, where half the population depends on subsidized bread, recent protests over food prices left at least one dead. In Pakistan, food prices have risen following devastating floods that destroyed a fifth of the country’s crops and agricultural infrastructure. In China, officials are threatening to punish price gougers. In Serbia, a 30% hike in the price of cooking oil reported for next week has led to threats of demonstrations by trade unions. (AP, Sept. 2)
See our last post on “peak food.”