28 March 2014
Africa Solidarity Trust Fund
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today we are signing the first six projects to be funded by the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund in support of the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mali, Niger and South Sudan.
The proposals have been adopted by the Fund’s Steering Committee after careful preparation and review with the Governments involved.
Each project will receive a 2 million dollar investment. And will be implemented with different partners, including international organizations such as FAO, WFP and UNICEF, and farmer organizations such as CNOP, APCAM, FENAJER and FENAFER in Mali.
I would like to recall that the idea of this fund was first discussed two years ago at the previous Regional Conference for Africa in Brazzaville.
In that occasion, the President of the Republic of Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso, called for increased solidarity between African countries to end hunger. An effort from Africa for Africa.
The Regional Conference tasked FAO to facilitate its development and implementation. And in 2013, the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund was officially launched.
I want to stress that the fund is hosted in FAO, but that it does not belong to FAO.
It is built to support the CAADP and is a joint endeavor involving the African Union, African governments and other partners to increase food security in Africa.
This fund has already over 40 million dollars.
Equatorial Guinea, with a contribution of 30 million dollars, and Angola, with a 10 million dollar contribution, are its main investors so far.
The Government of Cameroon and civil society organizations of the Republic of Congo have also made symbolic contributions to the Fund.
I would like to invite other African governments to join this effort and also contribute to this Africa Solidarity Trust Fund.
Your participation is very important. As you know, in a global world there can be no food security in one country if their neighbors suffer from hunger. Hunger is a regional and global issue. And that is why we are setting this Trust Fund.
I am pleased that today we are signing six projects into action. You will see that these projects do not try to reinvent the wheel. In most cases, we are scaling up pilot initiatives that have already been tested and are working in these countries. This is, in my opinion, the best way to make real progress.
Ladies and gentlemen,
This fund shows that Africa is willing to step up its own action to reach the future we want: a sustainable and food secure region.
FAO is your partner in this effort and I’m very proud of it.
Thank you very much for your kind attention.