World Bank Raises US$15m For Agric In Ebola-Hit States

The World Bank has mobilized US$15 million in emergency funding to provide 10,500 tons of maize and rice seeds to over 200,000 farmers in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone for the April planting season.
 
A World Bank release issued Thursday asserted that the move is a concerted push to revive agriculture and avert hunger in the three Ebola-hit countries.
 
The Bank noted that more than one million people could go hungry unless they have reliable access to food, and emergency measures are taken to safeguard crop and livestock production.
 
According to the release, the funds, in the form of grants financed by the International Development Association (IDA) and the Ebola Recovery and Reconstruction Trust Fund, will also be used to purchase fertilizer to multiply foundation seeds to meet tight planting season deadlines and help lay the foundation for sustained recovery.
 
Latest estimates by FAO and the World Food Program, indicates that in Guinea, 230,000 people are food insecure and that number could rise to more than 470,000 by March 2015, and similarly, 170,000 people in Liberia are food insecure and absent interventions, the number of hungry people could top 300,000, the release stated.
 
The release also indicated that in Sierra Leone, over 120,000 people are food insecure and this number could climb to more than 280,000, noting that Kailahun, an epicenter of the epidemic, is the country’s most fertile, food-producing area.
 
It also stated that the Ebola’s onset coincided with the cropping and harvesting periods, and rural flight led to large-scale shortages of farm labor.

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