ROME (AP) -- A U.N. agency says food prices in poor countries remain stubbornly high despite a good world cereal production this year.

The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization said in a report released Tuesday that 31 countries still require emergency food assistance. The agency said that Eastern Africa in particular has suffered from drought and conflict, pushing an estimated 20 million people into hunger.

The agency said international food prices have fallen significantly since their peaks some two years ago, but wheat and maize prices strengthened last month and rice export prices are still far above pre-crisis levels.

The agency is hosting a world summit on food security Nov. 16-18.

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