Kuwait wants an Islamic food fund, pledges $100 mln

Kuwait, a Gulf Arab oil exporter, proposed on Tuesday the creation of a fund to provide basic foods to poor people in Islamic countries and pledged to donate $100 million.

Kuwait wants an Islamic food fund, pledges $100 mln
"Kuwait ... is offering an initiative to establish a fund for decent life in Islamic countries to provide basic foodstuff for those who are in need quickly," the ruler Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah told an Islamic economic conference.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday that rising food prices have developed into a global crisis.

Concerns about food security mounted this month as rice prices hit records in Asia and the United States warned that staples for the world's hungry were getting much more expensive.

"Kuwait announces its contribution of $100 million to launch this fund," Sheikh Sabah said, adding that the proposed fund would also contribute to programmes to increase agricultural production.

In Kuwait, the world's seventh-largest oil exporter, inflation hit a record 9.5 percent in January as housing costs jumped 16.1 percent and food prices rose 7.7 percent.

Several Arab and Muslim capitals have witnessed protests by people demanding government intervention to ease the impact of rises in the prices of foods.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Nisan 2008, 17:37