The World Bank has announced that it will make $30 billion available for implementation over the next 15 months to address food insecurity threatened by Russia’s war in Ukraine. The bank, which disclosed this in a statement issued yesterday, said the financing would include efforts to encourage food and fertiliser production, enhance food systems, facilitate greater trade, and support vulnerable households and producers. T he statement partly reads: “The World Bank is working with countries on the preparation of $12 billion of new projects for the next 15 months to respond to the food security crisis.
These projects are expected to support agriculture, social protection to cushion the effects of higher food prices, and water and irrigation projects, with the majority of resources going to Africa and the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and South Asia. “In addition, the World Bank’s existing portfolio includes undisbursed balances of $18.7 billion in projects with direct links to food and nutrition security issues, covering agriculture and natural resources, nutrition, social protection, and other sectors. Altogether, this would amount to over $30 billion available for implementation to address food insecurity over the next 15 months.
This response will draw on the full range of Bank financing instruments and be complemented by analytical work.” The statement said that the World Bank gained extensive experience in response to the 2007-2008 global food price crisis through its temporary Global Food Crisis Response Program (GFRP), that received donor contributions and channeled funds to 49 affected countries through 100 projects. Commenting on the $30billion plan, World Bank Group, President David Malpass, said: “Food price increases are having devastating effects on the poorest and most vulnerable. To inform and stabilize markets, it is critical that countries make clear statements now of future output increases in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.” “Countries should make concerted efforts to increase the supply of energy and fertilizer, help farmers increase plantings and crop yields, and remove policies that block exports and imports, divert food to biofuel, or encourage unnecessary storage,” he added.