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Food Costs Highest Since 1990: U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization Report (PHOTOS)

First Posted: 01/06/11 09:16 AM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 07:25 PM ET

Up for the sixth month in a row and fueled by surging sugar prices and rises in cereals and oils,
the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Food Price Index rose to a record high in December 2010, representatives said.

According to Reuters, the index -- which measures monthly price changes for a food basket composed of cereals, oil seeds, dairy, meat and sugar -- reached
averaged 214.7 points last month. This is the index's highest point since records began in 1990, in nominal terms, topping the previous high of 213.5 in June 2008, during the food crisis of 2007/08.

Despite this, the FAO -- a UN body in charge of global food policy -- is drawing comfort from the overall absence of riots, which typically define a food crisis, the Financial Times is reporting.

Take a look at some regions which have battled food shortages in the past year here:

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  • Lebanon

    Riot police stand guard as a Lebanese man, right, carries a bread loaf during a sit-in called on by the National Federation of Labor Unions as they protest against the increase in the Value Added Tax, oil and food prices in front of the Government House in Beirut.

  • Democractic Republic of Congo

    Women wait in line to receive food aid after returning back to the small eastern DRC village of Mwenga after fleeing violence in the region.

  • Kyrgyzstan

    An ethnic Uzbek girl prepares food in a refugee camp outside the village of Begabad, some 30 kilometres south from Dzhalal-Abad.

  • India

    Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) Members of Parliament hold placards in New Delhi demanding the declaration of famine in the eastern state of Jharkhand.

  • Niger

    A farmer waits for food distribution near Dakoro, Northern Niger. UN humanitarian agencies sounded the alarm about a growing food crisis in the West African state of Niger, one of the world's poorest countries.

  • Pakistan

    An Afghan refugee girl prepares cow dung to be used for cooking as fuel in a suburb of Islamabad, Pakistan. Thousands of Afghans who have fled their country due to war and famine live in Pakistan.

  • Philippines

    Filipino children from a slum area in Manilaline up to receive a bowl of gruel during a feeding program organized by a child welfare group that poses a challenge to all political candidates in the 2010 national and local elections to feed the hungry children instead of wasting money for their campaign funds.

  • Sudan

    A young Sudanese girl grabs onto one of 60 bags of sorghum for sale donated by USAID and distributed by the World Food Program that found their way to the black market in Akobo, southern Sudan.

  • Indonesia

    A shortage of boats slowed delivery of tons of food, water and blankets in the remote Indonesian islands hit hardest by a tsunami that killed more than 400 people and crushed entire village.

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Filed by Curtis M. Wong  |