A sharp fall in the price index for sugar - which reached its lowest level since February 2009, together with dipping prices for vegetable oils, cereals and meat, more than offset a rise in dairy prices and contributed to the lower index, which in March averaged 173.8 points.
Some $121 million are urgently needed to prevent further deterioration of the food security situation and the collapse of regional food chains amidst the ongoing crisis in Syria, which has severely disrupted agricultural production and trade and left some 9.8 million people food insecure.
The FAO Food Price Index declined to a 55-month low in February, dropping 1.0 percent from January and 14 percent below its level a year earlier. Lower prices for cereals, meat and especially sugar more than offset an increase in milk and palm oil prices. FAO also raised its 2014 crop output forecast, indicating robust supply levels.