Children deprived of food due to soaring food prices
Cuts in aid by wealthy countries have forced thousands of kid in developing countries to go without breakfast.
A severe increase in food prices have also worsened their condition. 450,000 Children in Cambodia will become the latest victims of soaring food prices.
At dawn in a ramshackle elementary school in rural Cambodia, the children think of only one thing: their stomachs. They anxiously await the steaming buckets of free rice delivered to their desks.
But by the end of the month, they will no longer get free breakfast from the U.N. World Food Program. About 450,000 Cambodian students will become the latest victims of soaring global food prices.
Five local suppliers have defaulted on contracts to provide rice because they can get a higher price elsewhere, program officials say. Prices of rice have tripled on the global market since December.
Faced with a shortfall of more than 14,000 tons of rice, and with more pressing needs to meet, the World Food Program stopped the free breakfasts in March. The schools' remaining stocks are expected to run out in the coming days.
That will leave students without what was often the best meal they got all day.
"I feel hopeless," said Boeurn Srey Leak, a 15-year-old in sixth grade.
Rich countries have pledged $469 million for food aid to address what is expected to be a $755 million deficit, due to food prices that have risen 76 percent since December. The U.S., already the largest provider of food aid, is expected to contribute almost a third of that money. If Congress approves, the U.S. will contribute $770 million more to be available after Oct. 1.
But the money will not arrive in time to save some food programs from being cut or ended