20 Apr 2011

Pacific Island Governments discuss food price hikes

7:04 am on 20 April 2011

The Food and Agricultural Organisation organised a meeting in Fiji last week for Pacific Island governments and other partners to discuss the steep increase in food prices in the region.

Samantha Cocco-Klein, from UNICEF's Pacific office says her organisation has been monitoring the cost of food in vulnerable communities.

She says within a year prices increased by 50 to 100 percent in some cases, and families are rationing and eating less nutritious food.

She says they're also redirecting money away from other areas.

"As families struggle to have enough to eat, that money is going to be tight for the other things that are needed such as health and education and we're already seeing an impact on education, families are taking children out from schools in order to help deal with the both the increases in food and in reduced family income."

Samantha Cocco-Klein says the meeting was a chance for governments to gauge the problem, share data, and discuss different policy options being used.