World Bank approves 500-mln-USD loan to boost Egypt's food security

CAIRO, June 29 (Xinhua) -- The World Bank approved a 500-million-U.S. dollar loan to boost Egypt's food security under the impacts of COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Egyptian Ministry of International Cooperation said on Wednesday.

The loan will be spent under a new Emergency Food Security and Resilience Support Project by mobilizing emergency price relief while bolstering long-term food security strategy, the World Bank said in a statement.

"The project supports the government's strong commitment to ensuring that the needs of citizens continue to be met even amid a very challenging global context," said Rania Al-Mashat, minister of international cooperation.

The loan "bolsters Egypt's efforts to ensure that poor and vulnerable households have uninterrupted access to bread, to strengthen Egypt's resilience to food crises and to support reforms in food security policies, including to improve nutritional outcomes," the bank said.

A significant number of households in Egypt cut food consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic, which could have a lasting impact on nutrition and the cognitive development of young children. An improved nutrition strategy, including balanced diets, is a key element of this project, the bank noted.

"As always, we are keen to continuously support Egypt in overcoming obstacles to its ambitious sustainable development plans and to further enable the country to pave the way for a prosperous and productive future for all its citizens," said Marina Wes, World Bank country director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti.

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