Washington, DC: The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, today issued the following statement following the release of a joint International Financial Institutions (IFI) plan to address insecurity eating.
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has created a crisis that adds to a global crisis with countries facing food shortages and soaring food, energy and fertilizer prices. These pressures come at a time when countries’ public finances are already strained by the pandemic and debt burdens are high. With inflation reaching the highest levels seen in decades, vulnerable households in low- and middle-income countries are most at risk of acute food insecurity. And history has shown that hunger often triggers social unrest and violence.
“If we have learned a lesson from the 2007-08 food crisis, it is that the international community must take swift and well-coordinated action to deal with a food crisis by keeping trade open, supporting vulnerable households, ensuring sufficient agricultural supplies and responding to financial pressures. I am pleased that the heads of the international financial institutions have worked together to propose concrete actions ( add hyperlink to the action plan). Coordination between us will be essential to that the plan has maximum impact on rapidly reducing food insecurity, especially for the most vulnerable households in the most vulnerable countries.
“Working closely with the World Bank and other international financial institutions, the IMF will provide policy advice, capacity development assistance, and financial support to help catalyze and further complement financing from other institutions. The IMF is investing in its surveillance capacity to enable timely identification of countries under the most pronounced financial pressures, particularly fragile and conflict-affected states, which will be particularly affected by food insecurity.
“The IMF works with national authorities on macroeconomic frameworks and policy priorities. One of the main areas of interest is to support countries in their efforts to rapidly improve social safety nets to protect vulnerable households from the imminent threat of hunger. Helping members identify ways to maintain food security without resorting to export restrictions has been another priority. These policy objectives are reflected in the commitment of the IMF program. IMF financial support to Moldova and Mozambique, for example, focuses on strengthening social safety nets for vulnerable households.
“The IMF will also leverage its new Resilience and Sustainability Trust, which will provide longer-term affordable financing to countries facing structural challenges, and intensify its efforts with the World Bank and others to support debt restructurings. if necessary.”
Background: Following a meeting of international financial institutions (IFIs) and world leaders convened by the U.S. Treasury on April 19 “Addressing Food Insecurity: Challenges and the Call to Action”, the Fund International Monetary Fund (IMF), African Development Bank (ADB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), World Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have worked together to formulate a joint action plan to ensure food security. According to the plan, released today, the IFIs will pursue actions to scale up, intensify and expand their work through six priority objectives: (i) supporting vulnerable people; (ii) promote free trade; (iii) alleviate fertilizer shortages; (iv) support food production now; (v) investing in climate-resilient agriculture for the future; and (vi) coordinate for maximum impact.