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IFC Helps Government of Punjab in Pakistan Mobilize Private Sector Investment in Grain Storage


In Cairo, Egypt:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: +20 2 461 9140/45/50
E-mail:
rmustafa@ifc.org


Lahore, Pakistan, September 8, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced today it will help the Government of Punjab work with the private sector to develop modern grain storage infrastructure to safeguard future food security.

IFC will advise the Government on establishing public-private partnerships (PPPs) to build multigrain storage facilities in the province capable of holding up to 800,000 metric tons, which will improve the quality of stored grain and reduce wasteful losses.

IFC will help the Punjab Province – considered Pakistan’s bread basket – identify private sector investors to finance, design, build, operate, and maintain these storage facilities through a transparent and competitive bidding process. The province is Pakistan’s agricultural heartland and produces 75% of the country’s wheat grain – a staple crop vital for food security.

Punjab Chief Minister, Mian Shahbaz Sharif, said, ”This project marks a key step in our strategy to mobilize the private sector to develop grain storage infrastructure, which is vital for food security and for providing farmers modernized facilities in which to safely store – and possibly in the future, trade – their grain.”

Nadeem Siddiqui, IFC Chief Regional Representative for Middle East and North Africa and Country Representative for Pakistan, said, “IFC is committed to mobilizing the private sector to work to expand and improve agribusiness-related infrastructure in Pakistan – thus helping to ensure food security and assisting  the government in its work to liberalize the sector.”

This initiative is a timely response to the flood crisis that has caused widespread devastation in Pakistan. The Government of Punjab has made building modern grain storage infrastructure a priority after floods washed away some of the province’s wheat grain, as well as wheat seed needed by farmers for the next planting season. Improving this infrastructure is vital to safeguarding future strategic grain reserves and ensuring food security for poor and vulnerable communities.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives—by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and provide essential services, mobilizing capital from others, and delivering advisory and risk-management services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.