Food Security: IFAD, FAO, World Bank and AfDB reinforce the commitment

A joint Communiqué, signed by leaders of four multilateral agencies searches to strengthen the efforts to better support countries to achieve their collective food and nutrition security goals. High-level representatives of the African Development Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Bank joined this week in Kigali, at the first Africa Food Security Leadership Dialogue (AFSLD).

The four organizations agree to scale-up their collaboration. This includes joint planning and programming, co-financing and parallel-financing, and joint analytical and advisory activities in addressing African food security issues in the context of climate change.  They also agree to commit financial and technical support that is commensurate to the size of the food security challenge.

Gilbert Houngbo

“IFAD is committed to continuing to work with its partners to empower the rural poor and the most vulnerable, and to ensure that smallholder farmers and agripreneurs have the capital, the knowledge and the support they need to succeed, and drive greater food security and economic development at the same time,” affirms Gilbert Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). 

An important dialogue

The event was also attended by more than 250 decision-makers including 28 Ministers from across the continent, Nobel laureates, leading technical specialists in Africa and representatives from international organizations such as the African Union, the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), United Nations’ agencies and the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

“This meeting made it very clear that we must to work together to increase access to technology for the farmers, especially women, to enable better financing, and to ensure that agriculture is part of the climate change solution. And we must do so urgently”, reveals Hafez Ghanem, Vice-President of the World Bank to the Africa Region.

“The very existence of this dialogue shows that the will, the desire, and the drive to transform African agriculture are strong,” concludes Martin Fregene, African Development Bank Director for Agriculture and Agro-Industry.null

South Sudan. Courtesy of FAO.

An increasing challenge 

Sub-Saharan Africa’s farming sector has grown faster than anywhere else in the world with a 4.6 percent agriculture GDP growth rate from 2000 to 2018. But about 20 percent of Africa’s population (256 million people) are facing severe food insecurity. 

The situation is getting worse because of the negative impacts of climate change and conflicts. Extreme weather events such as droughts and floods have become more frequent and prolonged, leading to the diminished productive capacity of the land and loss of natural capital. 

The number of undernourished people in most sub-regions has been on the rise again since 2014 and if this trend continues the hard-won gains of previous years will be lost. 

“We are committed to join hands with our key partners in offering our technical and financial resources for a transformative and impactful partnership on issues of food security in a changing climate,” says Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Brazilian expertise

Brazilian companies and other organizations can also contribute to the advancement of food security in the African continent. The theme will be discussed during Brazil Africa Forum 2019 – Food Security: Path to Economic Growth. The event will be held in Sao Paulo on November 13 and 14.

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