WASHINGTON — The World Bank on Wednesday announced $12 billion in additional funding for projects aimed at addressing the global food security crisis, bringing the total to $30 billion.
Amid growing shortages exacerbated by the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, a major grain producer, the new funds will fund projects over the next 15 months to boost food and fertilizer production, boost trade and help vulnerable households and producers to support, the World Bank said.
“Rising food prices are having a devastating impact on the poorest and most vulnerable,” World Bank President David Malpass said in a statement.
“It is critical that countries now make clear statements about future production increases in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”
The bank previously announced $18.7 billion in financing for projects to be implemented over the next 15 months in Africa and the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Central Asia and South Asia.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and international economic sanctions against Moscow have disrupted supplies of wheat and other foodstuffs to both countries, driving up fuel and diesel prices, especially in developing countries.
And India banned wheat exports over the weekend, sending grain prices skyrocketing.
“Countries should make a concerted effort to increase energy and fertilizer supplies, help farmers increase plantings and crop yields, and eliminate measures that block exports and imports, convert food into biofuels or encourage unnecessary storage,” Malpass said.
Washington welcomed the move, which is part of a joint action plan by multilateral lenders and regional development banks to address the food crisis.
“Russia’s war in Ukraine is the latest global shock, compounding the steep rise in acute and chronic food insecurity in recent years, driven by conflict, climate change and economic downturns such as those associated with the coronavirus pandemic,” said the Treasury department, appreciating the institutions for the rapid work in resolving the problems.