FAO welcomes World Bank's global food security plan
The UN body Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) welcomed the new Global Agriculture And Food Security Program (GAFSP), a multi-donor trust fund managed by the World Bank to improve food security and agriculture in low-income countries.
"The GAFSP is designed to address the under-funding of country and regional agriculture and food security investment plans, making aid more predictable in the fight against hunger and poverty," FAO said on its website.
The FAO estimates that investment in agriculture needs to rise by 50 per cent if the increased food demand by 2050 is to be met, it said.
"The GAFSP, with its focus on country-led initiatives and the provision of technical assistance, fits well with FAO's approach," FAO Deputy Director General Jim Butler said, adding that the UN body looks forward to working with its development partners to make the food security programme operational as quickly as possible.
The founding donors - Canada, the Republic of Korea, Spain, the US and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have committed to contribute a total of USD 880 million for the program on the launch day itself, the FAO said.
The GAFSP was launched last week at the G20 and G7 meetings of finance ministers and central bank governors, and the spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank.
GAFSP will focus on financing medium-and long-term elements of agricultural development in three major areas: raising agricultural productivity, linking farmers to markets, and providing technical assistance and capacity building.