April 13th, 2008 12:26 EST
Haiti receives $10 million from World Bank
WASHINGTON, DC– The World Bank has announced a US$10 million grant for the Republic of Haiti to help the Government respond to the increasing unaffordability of food for poor families.
In Haiti, the prices of rice, corn, beans, cooking oil and other foodstuffs have increased significantly in the last few months.
“With this new US$ 10 million grant, the World Bank will support Government efforts to rapidly scale up social safety net programs, including school feeding, while pursuing longer term measures to create jobs”, said Yvonne Tsikata, the World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean.
According to a recently released report, Rising Food Prices: Policy Options and World Bank Response, increases in world wheat prices reached 181 percent over the 36 months leading up to February 2008, and overall global food prices increased by 83 percent. The protection and subsidization of the production of grains for biofuels, the increased costs of diesel fuel and fertilizer, and bad weather in traditionally big food production regions have been among the factors triggering the world-wide food price increases.
A team of Bank experts will visit Haiti in the coming days to work with the Government and its international partners to put the emergency assistance in place. The grant is expected to cover the provision of food for poor children and other vulnerable groups, partly through an expansion of the Bank’s existing school feeding program; and job creation through labor intensive public works. The World Bank is also exploring hedging instruments for food imports.
Since 2005, the World Bank has provided approximately US$220 million of support to Haiti.
See also Desperation drives crises in Haiti