The higher prices also have indirect effects. Poor people have experienced global shocks in recent years, from the spikes in fuel and food prices to the economic contraction starting in 2008 and the consequent reductions. Adverse weather has played a significant role in the recent price spikes. Weather was an important factor in reducing production and stocks in 2010. The number of reported droughts, floods, and extreme temperatures seems to be increasing, in 2010 alone, a record number of 19 nations set temperature records.
Recent extreme weather events include the Russian heat wave, dry weather in Brazil, and flooding in Australia, Pakistan, and West Africa. Floods are especially damaging, as they often require large reconstructions of irrigation systems and other infrastructure, and their frequency has increased along with the number of droughts. Overall, weather variability, possibly resulting from climate change, is having a significant impact on international food prices.
Among households, undernutrition rates can be high even among the food secure. For example, if the lowest two quintiles by wealth in Pakistan had the same characteristics as the third quintile, poverty would be eliminated, but 38 percent of children would still be malnourished. In Ethiopia 40 percent of children in the wealthiest quintile are stunted. This pattern is consistent across many countries and points to the need for interventions beyond general poverty reduction to address specific nutritional issues.