The World Bank Group is boosting overall support for global agriculture to $6 billion from $4 billion over the coming year. This includes IBRD lending, grants and highly concessional credits from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), which supports the world’s poorest countries, and finance for agri-businesses and trade finance. For example, in Africa agriculture lending will increase from US$ 450 to over US$ 800 million.
In addition to our financial support the Bank is also providing policy, technical and research advice to countries. Over the last 6 months, over 40 governments have sought policy advice from the Bank on how to deal with the rising food prices. Working in partnership with WFP, FAO, IFAD,NEPAD, UNICEF and others, the World Bank has concluded needs assessments in over 25 countries and has over a dozen more underway. The social as well as agricultural needs assessments will serve to guide policy responses as well as financial assistance to these countries.
The Bank is making $100 million available in Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Madagascar, Mali, and Niger through additional financing and restructuring of existing operations.
- Rapid needs assessments have been completed for Burkina Faso, Burundi, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, and Togo. Assessments are ongoing in Eritrea, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritania, and Niger.
- In Guinea, the Bank is preparing an emergency budget-support operation to help the government manage the sharp rise in food and oil prices.
- The Bank is 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.
Reference: Food Crisis: Background Note