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‘World Bank Approves K250 Billion Funding to Malawi’

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World Bank has approved a $250 million (about K250 billion) funding to Malawi to boost the resilience of food systems in the country.

WASHINGTON, May 31, 2023 — At a time when food systems in Eastern and Southern Africa continue to be battered by multiple shocks, the World Bank is expanding its support for food security and food systems resilience to benefit an additional 2.8 million people.

The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors approved $903 million in International Development Association (IDA) financing for Comoros ($40 million), Kenya ($150 million), Malawi ($250 million), Somalia ($150 million), Tanzania ($300 million) and the African Union Commission ($13 million) as part of the second and third  phases of the Food Systems Resilience Program (FSRP) for Eastern and Southern Africa.

Launched in June 2022, the program’s first phase provides support to Ethiopia and Madagascar, as well as two regional bodies. The program is expected to reach five million direct beneficiaries through the first three phases.

“The addition of five countries responds to the ongoing demand for long-term solutions offered by the Food Systems Resilience Program. Studies demonstrate that proactive investments in building resilience not only pay off but also minimize the costs of disaster relief and recovery.

As more countries are expected to join, we’re grateful that our board has agreed to increase the overall envelope for the entire FSRP program from $2.3 billion to $2.75 billion,” said Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa.

The FSRP supports participating countries in prioritizing medium-term investments that can transform and strengthen the resilience of their food systems. It helps countries to re-build their productive capacity, improve the management of their natural resources, strengthen food value chains and access to markets, and improve policies, national and regional, to enhance the resilience of the sector.

Although the program prioritizes medium-term investments to enhance resilience, it can also provide a range of short-term support measures in case of a deteriorating food security situation. The FSRP is central to the World Bank’s engagement in the region, which prioritizes enhancing human development outcomes and increasing the resilience of populations in a region undergoing complex overlapping challenges.

An estimated 73 million people in the region face acute food insecurity as a result of multiple shocks ranging from extreme weather, pests and disease outbreaks to political and market instability, and conflict. The program recognizes that many of the root causes and consequences of food insecurity defy national borders.

These drivers often need to be addressed cooperatively. The African Union Commission joins two other regional bodies, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the Center for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA), to help facilitate learning and action across borders. 

“The program provides a common framework for countries to collaborate and learn from each other on regional food systems resilience challenges. As the number of participating continues to increase, so do opportunities for this collaboration to take place. We are thrilled to welcome the African Union Commission into the program.

The AUC will join IGAD and CCARDESA with their technical expertise and their convening power on crucial topics related to food systems resilience, including research, climate-smart agriculture, trade policy harmonization and policy support,” said Boutheina Guermazi, World Bank Director of Regional Integration Africa, the Middle East and North Africa.

To complement this IDA investment, a trust fund from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) is being established under the FSRP to further scale up activities, reinforce interventions that empower women and youth, and propel the creation of off-farm jobs.

Similarly, a trust fund Global Program for the Blue Economy is being established for the Comoros to enhance strategic blue economy investments to further strengthen the country’s food systems’ resilience and, among others, focus on enhanced integration between fisheries-related activities and broader coastal management in Comorian waters.

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