The United States and Norway will commit a total of $70 million on Monday to launch a fund to help farmers and agribusinesses in Africa, a spokesman for the US Agency for International Development (USAID) said.
WHAT YOU NEED TO REMEMBER
Hunger has worsened in several parts of Africa due to armed conflict and extreme weather conditions that scientists link to fossil fuel-driven climate change.
The announcement by USAID Administrator Samantha Power and Norwegian International Development Minister Beathe Tvinnereim on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly comes as Russia and China compete with the United States and Europe to attract developing countries.
BY THE NUMBERS
The fund aims to reach a total of $200 million through additional contributions from donors and can benefit nearly 7.5 million people, the spokesperson said.
USAID and Norway will each commit $35 million. The fund has the potential to support 500 small and medium-sized agricultural businesses, 1.5 million smallholder farmers and almost 60,000 private sector jobs.
The fund aims to stimulate hundreds of millions of dollars in additional commercial financing by reducing investment risk.
Famine was averted in parts of the Horn of Africa this year as the rainy season, which was expected to be bad for the fifth year in a row, exceeded expectations. But aid officials say some 60 million people remain food insecure in seven East African countries.
Millions of people in West Africa have faced food insecurity due to climate crises, COVID-19 and rising prices.
“Without these small agribusinesses, Africa’s small farmers are growing enough to feed themselves and their families,” Power told Reuters.
“But connect them with a nursery that can provide them with quality seeds and fertilizers, a market where they can sell their surplus crops, or a processor that can turn their crops into higher-value products, and suddenly they have a chance to take off.” , producing the kind of agricultural growth we know is necessary to fight hunger and poverty.”