A hungry man is an angry man

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Market_4Food prices have increased by an estimated 40 percent globally since 2007. This increase has had a disproportionate effect on many developing nations, where families often spend more than half their income on food. The situation is particularly troublesome in countries such as Nigeria, Vietnam and Indonesia, where the percentage of income spent on food is respectively 73, 65 and 50 percent, as reported recently by the New York Times. As a result riots have taken place in several countries as people protest the rising food prices.

The IMF published a brief analysis last month predicting that the social implications in Sub-Saharan Africa may be severe. It also points to long term and temporary factors – including rising biofuels production and droughts – contributing to the current increase in food prices as well as guiding policy responses.

Oh, the Bob Marley tune that inspired the title of this blog post goes on to say that a "hungry mob is an angry mob." How is that for a policy-guiding principle?

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