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Operational Response to the Food Crisis in MENA : Summary

Available in: Français, العربية

June 1, 2008

  • Following the request from the Government of Djibouti for World Bank assistance, a Development Policy Grant (US$5 million) was approved by the Board on May 29, 2008 as part of the fast-track facility for the food crisis.
  • A request for assistance was also received from the Government of Yemen. Yemen as an IDA country has qualified for a grant (US$10 million) from the fast-track facility for the food crisis.  An Additional Financing operation to the Social Fund is also being prepared.
  • In Jordan transmission of high international prices to the economy started with oil prices as Jordanians removed the oil subsidies over the last few years. Food prices created additional pressures. The World Bank is launching an economic/ poverty/ fiscal impact study (which will also be the need assessment) to inform the mitigation efforts that Government has been formulating including aspects of food security and agriculture supply responses.
  • Egypt requested concessional financial assistance when we met with the Minister of International Development. At present MICs are ineligible for grants from the GFPR facility.
  • There may be a request coming from Syria. Syria is unique in MENA as it stands to gain from food prices if it reforms its important agriculture sector (main exporter in the region and agriculture is still high in GDP, above 25 per cent). A World Bank team will visit Syria in June to present a policy note on the agriculture sector and discuss next steps.

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