Specifically, in South Sudan, the Bank is partnering with UNICEF, WFP, and FAO to implement a $50-million-dollar emergency food, nutrition, and livestock project to meet immediate food and nutrition needs, and to lay the foundations for the recovery of crops and livestock for 580,000 people.
In Somalia, which is not eligible for normal Bank financing due to outstanding arrears, the Bank is leveraging a first-of-its-kind partnership arrangement with ICRC to implement a $50-million-dollar emergency drought response and recovery project to rapidly deliver food, water, cash, and basic goods to half a million people and provide vaccinations or treatment to the livestock of 200,000 people.
In Yemen, the Bank is implementing an emergency health and nutrition project of $283 million dollars through WHO and UNICEF, and a $500-million-dollar short-term employment and basic services project through UNDP. This is the first time we are delivering IDA support within the context of active conflict.
Finally, in Nigeria, six projects totaling $650 million have been rapidly approved to provide vital support in the six states ravaged by Boko Haram and famine. The $50-million-dollar additional financing for the Third National Fadama Development Project has already disbursed $44 million dollars for income support to boost food security and livelihoods of rural and conflict-affected households in the northeast. Given the volatile security situation in the northeast, Bank teams are leveraging the UN system – including security support – to be able to deliver.
Members of the Security Council – including the U.S., U.K., France, Italy, and Japan – were extremely supportive of this ‘new way of working’ and our efforts to bridge the humanitarian-development divide to make a difference on the ground.
Given the central role conflict has played in driving and exacerbating the famine crisis, Council members also emphasized the need for political solutions to end the fighting in affected countries, or at least for combatants to ensure safe humanitarian access. While the Bank lacks a political mandate, I also stressed the need for a quick abatement of conflict in order to reduce famine risks.
Partners are nearly universal in their view that modern-day famines are man-made and preventable. It falls to us – UN, World Bank, NGOs, governments, and civil society – to turn our “zero famine” aspiration into a shared reality. Leveraging innovative collaboration on the ground has a key role to play in this process, and to ensuring that no one has to suffer from the scourge of famine ever again.