New World Bank Financing to address Liberia’s Food Security Crisis
The World Bank has approved $30 million in concessional International Development Association (IDA) credit to improve productivity and market access for smallholder farmers and agri-enterprises for selected food value chains, especially for rice.
The amount comes as an Additional Financing to the Rural Economic Transformation Project (RETRAP-AF).
This financing, which comes from the Crisis Response Window – Early Response Financing-CRW-ERF of IDA, will ensure that the Liberia Rural Economic Transformation Project (RETRAP) benefits an additional 36,000 households, thereby increasing the total number of beneficiary households by 60%, from 60,000 to 96,000.
“The recent global food crisis resulting from various global shocks such as the Russia-Ukraine war and climate change has underscored the need for Liberia to address the issue of food security,” said Khwima Nthara, World Bank Country Manager for Liberia. “I am glad that this additional financing will support rice production which is critical to food security in Liberia.”
This additional financing will support a supply response to the severe food crisis facing the country in line with the World Bank’s Crisis Response Framework. It will support increased agricultural productivity and development of selected value chains that are vital to food security and facilitate access to food. It will also strengthen the country’s food crisis prevention and monitoring systems and build community resilience to climate change. The original project covered 11 of Liberia’s 15 counties. With this financing, project activities will be extended to all 15 counties, thereby addressing food security issues nationwide.
“This additional financing will support expanded food production, focusing on rice but will also improve crisis monitoring, evaluation, coordination, and management. The financing will also cover other value chains such as palm oil and vegetables which are key to improved food and nutrition security – food availability and access, and also offer a high potential for income generation and poverty-reduction,” said Adetunji Oredipe and John Kobina Richardson, Co-Task Team Leaders for the project.
On building resilience to climate change, the additional financing will incorporate the use of climate-resilient seed varieties; investments in climate-resilient infrastructure and the adoption of practices that will prevent soil erosion and retain soil nutrients; improved water management; and efficient methods and technologies to manage pests and diseases.
*The International Development Association (IDA) is the World Bank’s fund for the poorest. Established in 1960, it provides grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa.
IDA resources help effect positive change in the lives of the 1.6 billion people living in the countries that are eligible for its assistance. Since its inception, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments are constantly on the rise and have averaged $21 billion over the past three years, with about 61% going to Africa.