World Bank supports food safety project in Moldova

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The World Bank is to help Moldova modernize the country’s food safety system.

The group’s board of executive directors approved a loan of $15 million to the Republic of Moldova for the third additional financing of the Moldova Agriculture Competitiveness Project (MACP). The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding for developing countries.

The funding will help establish a European standards compliant system to manage animal by-products unintended for food production. Such food safety and quality control systems are essential for growth of the sector, exports, public health, and environmental protection.

Moldova’s predominantly agriculture-based economy relies heavily on agricultural production and agri-processing in Europe and the Central Asia region.

Food safety improvement
“The current methods and patterns of disposal of animal waste in Moldova are not compliant with international best practices and thus result in significant public health and environmental risks,” said Anna Akhalkatsi, World Bank country manager for Moldova.

“We hope that this additional financing will serve as a stimulus for increased economic activity in the agriculture and food sectors, as improvements in food safety will broaden prospects for increased and more diversified production both for domestic and export markets of dairy, meat and derivative products.”

Addressing safe disposal of animal by-products will have benefits for the environment and public health and enhance Moldova’s resilience to face foodborne disease outbreaks in future.

Since 2012, MACP and additional financing has helped Moldova strengthen export competitiveness, attract investment and enhance access to premium food export markets by ensuring regulatory and system compliance with sanitary and phytosanitary standards.

The project also supported farmers affected by export restrictions on the Russian market to avoid collapse of the fruit growing sector. Since Moldova joined the World Bank in 1992, about $1.3 billion has been allocated to more than 60 operations in the country.

Germany helps countries achieve food safety compliance
Meanwhile, Germany has contributed €150,000 ($176,400) this year to help developing countries and least-developed countries (LDCs) comply with international food safety standards to increase their access to agricultural markets.

A donation to the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) helps developing countries improve food safety, animal and plant health capacity and meet sanitary and phytosanitary requirements for trade, based on international standards. Germany has donated €2.6 million ($3.1 million) to this fund over 15 years.

“With this new donation, Germany will help developing countries and LDCs expand their trading capacities, thereby laying the groundwork for their farmers to seize new trade opportunities,” said Roberto Azevêdo, World Trade Organization director general.

Germany’s Ambassador to the WTO, Michael Von Ungern-Sternberg, said: “Through its capacity-building activities, the STDF helps to build an important bridge between consumers and the farmers in developing countries. We are pleased to be contributing to reducing poverty and increasing food and animal safety around the world.”

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