The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved $202 million 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 address food insecurity in challenging times, such as frequent climate-induced disasters or crisis situations like the current COVID-19 pandemic, according to a WB release.
It is supporting the construction of eight public modern grain storage steel silo complexes for rice and wheat in eight different districts.
On top of current construction work taking place in Ashuganj, Madhupur and Mymensingh, the additional financing will support the construction of rice silos in Dhaka, Narayanganj and Barishal, and wheat silos will be built in Chattogram and Maheshwarpasha.
The additional financing will increase the grain reserve available to households to meet their post-disaster needs and improve the efficiency of grain storage management through an online Food Stock and Market Monitoring System (FSMMS).
The project will also create new job opportunities, especially for women, in the operation and management of silos.
“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.
He said that 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.