Rising food costs threatening food security in conflict-affected countries.
Photo: © WFP/Gabriela Vivacqua


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People living in conflict-affected countries have to pay intensely disproportionate high prices for food. WFP’s Counting the Beans index shows the food prices in relation to income in many parts of the world.

Food becomes ever less affordable in countries in conflict or subject to political instability, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) warns in mid-October 2018.
Taking food costs in New York, USA as a reference point, WFP has found that a resident of the Empire state might spend USD 1.20 to cook a simple soup or stew (say, some beans or lentils, a handful of rice, plus water and oil). By contrast, a citizen of South Sudan would need to fork out more than two days’ income – the New York equivalent of USD 348.36 – for a similar meal; a resident of North-east Nigeria, USS 222.05; and a Yemeni national, USD 62.37.
All three are countries or regions where famine is a looming threat. In these three countries, rising food costs closely track the trajectory of conflicts. For many people there, survival would not be possible without assistance from WFP and other partners.
These are findings from the second edition of WFP’s Counting the Beans index which covers 52 developing nations.

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