The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has launched an initiative to help address global food security challenges through private sector involvement.

The Private Sector for Food Security Initiative, announced on Monday (28 November), involves "greater coordination among key stakeholders", the EBRD said. It also has a focus on the bank's planned new areas of operations in the Middle East and North Africa.

The programme aims to address "bottlenecks" along the food value chain, match supply and demand more effectively from food exporters and importers, and provide more opportunities for private-public sector dialogue to address the needs of the private sector.

The EBRD said it will extend its investment in logistics in order to "help smooth out price swings", which it said is "potentially damaging, especially to smaller producers and poorer consumers, who are unable to insure themselves against wild price fluctuations".

"The involvement of the private sector is crucial in stimulating the supply side of food security as food production is first and foremost a private sector activity," the EBRD said. "With its predominant focus on private enterprise, the EBRD is particularly well placed to promote the priorities of the private sector in its interaction with relevant authorities in key supply countries."