AfDB approves $1.5 billion ’emergency response’ for Africa

Akinwumi Adesina

May 21 (THEWILL) – The African Development Bank has approved a $1.5 billion emergency food production facility for about 20 million farmers in Africa.

The fund should help avert a looming food crisis exacerbated by the war between Russia and Ukraine.

The AfDB made the announcement on Friday, via its Twitter account, saying the facility will rapidly produce 30 million metric tons of food and support around 20 million farmers.

The war between Ukraine and Russia has led to higher food prices, especially for products such as wheat, corn, soybeans and other cereals, on which many African countries depend for their food. base.

AfDB President Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina said “food aid cannot feed Africa” ​​and “Africa needs seeds”, suggesting that relying on aid to solve problems Africa’s food supply is not sustainable. According to him, “there is no dignity in begging for food”.

The AfDB plan also explained how the war has affected African countries:

“The price of wheat has risen in Africa by more than 45% since the start of the war in Ukraine. Fertilizer prices have increased by 300% and the continent faces a fertilizer shortage of 2 million metric tons.

“Many African countries have already experienced price hikes for bread and other food items. If this gap is not closed, food production in Africa will decline by at least 20% and the continent could lose over $11 billion in food production value.

“The African Development Bank will provide fertilizer to smallholder farmers across Africa over the next four agricultural seasons, using its convening influence with major fertilizer manufacturers, loan guarantees and other financial instruments.

“The Facility will also create a platform to advocate for critical policy reforms to address structural issues that prevent farmers from receiving modern inputs. This includes strengthening national institutions that oversee input markets.

“The Facility has a structure for working with multilateral development partners. This will ensure rapid alignment and implementation, increased reach and effective impact.

“It will increase technical readiness and responsiveness. Furthermore, it includes short, medium and long-term measures to address both the urgent food crisis and the long-term sustainability and resilience of African food systems.

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