A "silent tsunami" of worldwide hunger could be unleashed by rising food costs, according to the head of the United Nations World Food Program.
Josette Sheeran said increasing food prices could push more than 100 million people into a level of poverty where they can't afford to feed themselves. She spoke at a summit in Britain to discuss the crisis, CBC News reported.
"This is the new face of hunger -- the millions of people who were not in the urgent hunger category six months ago but now are," said Sheeran, who described the crisis as "a silent tsunami that respects no borders."
"The world's misery index is rising ... as soaring food and fuel prices roll through the lives of the most vulnerable," she said.
A number of factors are contributing to increasing food costs: poor harvests; rising energy prices; increasing use of fields to produce corn for ethanol; and growing demand in China and India, CBC News reported.