The World Bank has disbursed at least $12bn, almost half of which was to Africa, to help beneficiary counties cope with food shortage.
In a new report titled “Food Security Update | World Bank Response to Rising Food Insecurity” the bank noted that domestic food prices remained high all over the world, especially in low and middle income countries.
According to the bank, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, trade-related policies imposed by countries have surged, and the global food crisis has been partially made worse by the growing number of food trade restrictions put in place by countries with a goal of increasing domestic supply and reducing prices.
The bank also said a $30bn relief package, spread over a period of 15 months, including $12bn in new projects, will be rolled out to help counties cope with food insecurity.
According to the report, up to 205 million people are expected to face acute food insecurity and to be in need of urgent assistance in 45 countries.
The report read partly, “The most recent Food Price Monitoring and Analysis Bulletin released by the Food and Agriculture Organisation revealed mixed trends for international cereal prices in January 2023.
“World wheat prices fell in January for a third consecutive month; international coarse grain prices remained mostly unchanged; and international rice prices rose at an accelerated pace in January 2023.”
Overall, FAO’s analysis indicates that high prices have persisted for the past three months despite some evidence of easing from 2022 peaks in certain countries, with rice price hikes mostly responsible for sustained high cereal prices.”
Beyond the fiscal stimulus, the World Bank Group stated it had partnered the G7 Presidency and co-convened the Global Alliance for Food Security, which aimed to catalyse an immediate and concerted response to the unfolding global hunger crisis.
The report added that the alliance had developed the publicly accessible Global Food and Nutrition Security Dashboard, which provided timely information for global and local decision-makers to help improve coordination of the policy and financial response to the food crisis.