The World Bank said on Wednesday it would provide $30 billion to help stem a food security crisis threatened by Russia’s war in Ukraine, which has cut off most grain exports from the two countries.
The total amount will include $12 billion in new projects and more than $18 billion in existing food and nutrition projects that have been approved but not yet disbursed, the bank said.
“Increases in food prices are having devastating effects on the poorest and most vulnerable,” David Malpass, President of the World Bank Group, said in a statement. “To inform and stabilize markets, it is critical that countries make clear statements now about increased production in the future in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”
The bank said that the new projects are expected to support agriculture and social protection to mitigate the effects of high food prices on the poor, and water and irrigation projects. The majority of resources go to Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and South Asia.
These regions are among the hardest hit by the impact of the war in Ukraine on grain supplies. Countries like Egypt rely heavily on Ukrainian and Russian wheat and are racing for supplies as Russia has blocked Ukrainian agricultural exports from Black Sea ports and imposed restrictions on domestic exports.
The World Bank’s plans were the biggest component of the US Treasury’s report summarizing food security action plans from international financial institutions released on Wednesday.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development plans to provide 500 million euros ($523.50 million) for food security and trade financing for agricultural and food products, from a 2 billion euro package for Ukraine and neighboring war-affected countries, the Treasury report said. Ukraine will receive 200 million euros and neighboring countries will receive 300 million euros.
The IMF will provide financial support through its regular channels, which are limited to countries’ quotas and whether their debts are sustainable.
(1 dollar = 0.9551 euros)
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