This review draws together evidence from field studies on the effects of high food prices and compares this evidence with the predictions made at the beginning of the 2007–08 price spike. As predicted, high food prices increased malnutrition (especially in young children) and poverty. Some findings however were less obvious, including the depth of the impact in rural areas, the increase in inequality; the increase in indebtedness due to the widespread use of credit to buy food, and that most poverty impact came from increasing depth of poverty in the already‐poor, rather than increased poverty headcount. Studies on how poor people coped with food price rises highlight some areas of policy that merit further support, including education, health and most especially finance for the poor.
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