NEXT month, the Asian Development Bank
will submit to its board of directors a proposal for an emergency food
aid project following the government's request for US$38 million to
ensure food security between 2008 and 2011, a bank official said last
The project would benefit more than 500,000 people in five
provinces around the Tonle Sap river and some poor areas of Phnom Penh,
said Arjun Goswami, the bank's country representative, in an email.
said worldwide price hikes for food and fuel have pushed traders to
sell their rice to neighbouring countries, thus driving down domestic
"Our highest concern, as well as that of the government's,
therefore, is to do whatever we can to ensure that the vulnerable
segment of the population continues to have affordable access to basic
food commodities," Goswami said.
He said that in response to rising
food costs the government has established an interministerial National
Food Security Taskforce, headed by the Ministry of Economy and Finance,
that would provide overall policy guidance and coordination of the
He added that reports of drought may bode ill for the future.
are aware of recent media reports that some areas of the country are
experiencing drought, which may impact rice crop yield. If this were to
actually happen, then it will undoubtedly exacerbate an already
difficult situation," Goswami said.