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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ADB to submit plan for $38m food project

ADB to submit plan for $38m food project

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

week.

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.

He

said worldwide price hikes for food and fuel have pushed traders to

sell their rice to neighbouring countries, thus driving down domestic

supply.

"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

project.

He added that reports of drought may bode ill for the future.

 "We

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.

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