Bangladesh receives 202 mln USD from World Bank to increase food security

Xinhua News Agency | Aug 2, 2020 at 12:04 PM

DHAKA, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors have approved 202 million U.S. dollars in additional financing for the Modern Food Storage Facilities Project to increase the storage capacity of Bangladesh's national strategic grain reserves by 535,500 tons for 4.5 million households.

The project is helping Bangladesh to address food insecurity in challenging times, such as frequent climate-induced disasters or crisis situations like the current COVID-19 pandemic, said the Washington-based lender in a statement received here Sunday.

It is supporting the construction of eight public modern grain storage steel silo complexes for rice and wheat in eight different districts, said the bank.

"Nearly 80 percent of Bangladesh's population lives in rural areas with climate shocks threatening their livelihoods, welfare, and food security," said Mohammad Anis, acting World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan.

"This modern food storage system, combined with an effective distribution system, will help ensure food security after a natural disaster or during a crisis such as the current COVID-19 pandemic."

According to the statement, the project has already helped to manufacture and distribute 500,000 household air- and water-tight food containers ("household silos") to poor farmers and women-headed vulnerable households in disaster-prone coastal areas.

This success has led the government to further distribute silos to an additional 300,000 households, it said.

The project will reduce losses of grain storage in public storage facilities by at least 50 percent and extend the nutritional value of grain for up to two years, instead of the current six months, the statement added.