The rise in global food prices was sudden and unanticipated, with severe repercussions. The impact of the crisis was not uniform, hitting net importers particularly hard. At the household level, surging and volatile food prices affected those who could afford them the least. Globally, the numbers of the hungry began to rise toward the 1 billion mark. By 2007, it was clear that the crisis was not due to a temporary price spike and that structural forces would keep the cost of food high for years to come. Agencies working in the food and nutrition areas became very concerned about the impact of high food prices. Individual countries felt the pinch—Mexico was one of the first, leading to food riots in January 2007. Yet, at the global level, politicians were slow to react.