New York, (Agencies): World Bank has expressed serious concerns over food prices rising to "dangerous levels" globally and said this has pushed 44 million people in developing countries into extreme poverty since June last year.

According to World Bank, spiralling prices of wheat, maize, sugar and oils apart from food items such as vegetables turning costlier, are pushing food inflation higher.


World Bank Group President Robert B Zoellick noted that global food prices are rising to dangerous levels and threaten tens of millions of poor people.

The multilateral agency's food price index has climbed 15 per cent between October 2010 and January 2011.

According to the World Bank, global wheat prices have doubled between June 2010 and January 2011 whereas rice prices have increased at a slower rate than other grains.

High inflation, spurred by rising food prices, are staring at policymakers in many of the fast-growing nations including India and China.

In India, food inflation stood at 13.07 per cent in the last week of January after hovering above 15 per cent in recent months.

Stressing that there is no "silver bullet" to resolve the potent combination of rising and volatile food prices, Zoellick also called for more transparency by providing greater public access to information on the quality and quantity of grain stocks, among others.