Timor-Leste’s poorest are missing out on a government rice subsidy designed to relieve the pressure of the global food crisis. The government imports rice and sells it for USD 16 per 32kg bag, regardless of the market price, but much of it has not been reaching rural areas, where people are less likely to have cash. “We’ve seen that the subsidized rice hasn’t been available for the past six weeks,” said Joan Fleuren, country director for the World Food Program (WFP) in Timor-Leste. But the government said that while rice stocks have been lower than usual, it has still been distributing subsidized rice. (IRIN)

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