Behind the food crisis - Eighteen countries receive $152 million; $429 million more earmarked for programs in 13 countries

from World Bank
Published on 26 Sep 2008 View Original
Food Crisis

What the World Bank is Doing

The World Bank Group created a new $1.2 billion rapid financing facility-the Global Food Response Program (GFRP)-in May 2008 to speed assistance to the neediest countries. GFRP has approved and begun disbursing $152 million in 18 countries as of September 26, 2008. One project totaling $36 million is pending approval. An additional $393 million is being earmarked for programs in 13 countries.

GFRP is disbursing funds to Afghanistan ($8 million), Burundi ($10 million), Central African Republic ($7 million), Djibouti ($5 million), Guinea ($10 million), Guinea-Bissau ($10 million) Haiti ($10 million), Honduras ($10 million), Kyrgyz ($10 million), Liberia ($10 million), Madagascar ($10 million), Moldova ($7 million), Niger ($7 million), Rwanda ($10 million), Sierra Leone ($7 million), Somalia ($7 million), Tajikistan ($9 million), and Yemen ($10 million).

The money is used to feed poor children and other vulnerable groups, provide for nutritional supplements to pregnant women, lactating mothers, infants and small children, to meet additional expenses of food imports or to buy seeds for the new season.

- GFRP is part of the World Bank Group's New Deal on Global Food Policy has been endorsed by 150 countries. The New Deal embraces short, medium and long-term responses, including safety nets such as school feeding, food for work, and conditional cash transfers; increased agricultural production; a better understanding of the impact of biofuels; and action on the trade front to reduce distorting subsidies and trade barriers.

- Providing $130 million to Bangladesh in the coming months to help address the food crisis.

- Providing $100 million to hard-hit Burkina Faso, Burundi, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Madagascar, Mali, and Niger.

- Working on irrigation and water management in Ethiopia, fertilizer use in Malawi, market access for smallholders in Senegal, and crop diversification in Mali and Uganda.

- Conducting rapid needs assessments for countries impacted by the crisis, including Burkina Faso, Burundi, Eritrea, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Sierra Leone, and Togo.

- Boosting overall agricultural lending to $6 billion over the next year.

- Launching risk management tools and crop insurance to protect poor countries and small-holders.

- Nearly doubling agricultural lending to Africa from $450 million to $800 million; and to Latin America from $250 million to $400 million.

- Supporting over $1 billion in new projects in agriculture and rural development in South Asia.

- Doubling lending for social protection, nutrition and food security, and social risk mitigation to $800 million over the next year.

- Urging major grain-producing countries to lift or refrain from bans on food exports.

- Working with other donors and agencies on the African Union's New Partnership for Africa's Development Program for agriculture development in sub-Saharan Africa.