The World Bank’s private sector arm International Financial Corporation (IFC) has launched a fresh $6 billion financing facility to strengthen the private sector’s ability to respond to food insecurity crisis and help support production in countries affected by food instability, a statement said Tuesday.

A core part of the financing, which will be provided through the new Global Food Security Platform, will support sustainable production and delivery of food stocks, it said.

The $6 billion will be used to support private sector companies along the food value chain by leveraging IFC’s sectoral expertise in agribusiness, manufacturing, infrastructure, and technology, as well as the financial sector and trade finance.

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“By strengthening supply chains and ensuring that people have access to and can grow affordable food, this initiative will contribute to building resilient food systems in the most vulnerable regions,” said Makhtar Diop, IFC’s Managing Director.

The war in Ukraine and an uneven global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic have added to rising levels of hunger and malnourishment, which already have been worsened by climate change and increasingly severe weather events that are damaging harvests and reducing yields.

The Platform will supplement the World Bank’s commitment of US$30 billion in response to the food crisis as IFC is also stepping up engagements with other partners, including development finance institutions, foundations, banks as well as a range of private companies.

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The $6 billion support will be aimed at facilitating trade of food commodities, delivery of inputs to farmers, supporting efficient production in major origins, including Ukraine, and effective distribution of food products in destination countries, according to the statement.The money will also help improve the resilience of the global food system and lessen its climate and ecological footprint.

This includes investing in increasing efficient crop production, improving access to fertilizers, greening fertilizer production and use, reducing crop loss and food waste, improving supply chain efficiency, and mitigating infrastructure bottlenecks.

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets including Bangladesh. In fiscal year 2022, IFC committed a record $32.8 billion to private companies and financial institutions in developing countries.

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