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East-South Africa: World Bank approves program to fight food insecurity

Thursday, 23 June 2022 17:07
East-South Africa: World Bank approves program to fight food insecurity

(Ecofin Agency) - The initial US$788.10 million phase of the program will target Ethiopia and Madagascar, two countries hit hard by drought. 

The World Bank announced Tuesday (June 21), a US$2.3 billion program to help Eastern and Southern African countries fight food insecurity.  

According to the multilateral financial institution, by next month, 66.4 million people will experience food stress, crisis, emergency, or famine in the two beneficiary regions.  “Food system shocks brought on by extreme weather, pest and disease outbreaks, political and market instability, and conflict are becoming more frequent and severe, putting more people at risk of food insecurity. The war in Ukraine is further exacerbating these effects by disrupting the global food, fuel, and fertilizer markets,” it explains. 

The project will be implemented in phases, we learn. The first phase will target Ethiopia, where an estimated 22.7 million people are food insecure due to severe drought, and Madagascar, where 7.8 million people are also in need of food assistance due to drought in the south.  With total funding estimated at US$788.10 million, the program's initial phase is expected to benefit 2.3 million people.  

Other countries will benefit from subsequent phases of the program, which will also strengthen inter-institutional food crisis response strategies, including strengthening early warning systems and rapid response planning, emergency producer support, emergency trade measures, and emergency food reserves building.

The project “ is the first regional and multi-sectoral operation focusing on reducing the number of food-insecure people in Eastern and Southern Africa by increasing the resilience of food systems and preparedness to combat rising food insecurity. It supplements a similar program that the Bank approved recently for Western and Central Africa,”  said Hafez Ghanem (photo), World Bank Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa.

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