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France doubles its world food aid

Food aid spending will rise to €60 million in the wake of soaring food prices world wide, the government has announced.

France is to double its world food aid spending to €60 million this year, the government has announced.

The measure is in response to the problem of soaring food prices world wide.

This comes a few weeks after France was criticised by Oxfam as being among the “worse offenders” in making cuts in overall international aid from 2006 - 2007.

The country’s aid spending dropped by 16% to 0.39% of gross national income, the charity said.

Oxfam International’s executive director Jeremy Hobbs said this was especially “disappointing” with France preparing to take the EU presidency.

He said: “The failure of countries to act means millions of children denied a place in school, and mothers and children condemned to die.”

Recently President Sarkozy made promises to “pursue and accentuate” French efforts in supporting micro-finance schemes in Africa.

In March he met with Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, pioneer of the ‘micro-credit’ concept of offering small loans to low-income people not normally considered credit-worthy.

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