“In order to feed the nearly one billion hungry people and provide for the extra three billion people coming into the world by the year 2050, the world needs political leadership and well invested resources. . . World leaders looking for ways to save the global economy from disaster and to create jobs and income for millions of people in rural areas would be well advised to invest heavily in agriculture.”
FAO Director General Dr. Jacques Diouf
G-8 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting
At the 2009 meeting of the G8 in L’Aquila, world leaders committed USD20 billion over three years for sustainable agriculture development and safety nets for vulnerable populations. Called the Aquila Food Security Initiative (AFSI), the effort was endorsed by 27 countries and 15 international organizations. It is a substantial recognition of the urgent need for decisive action to free humanity from hunger and poverty.
Implementation of the AFSI is a priority of the FAO Investment Centre through 2012, working closely with other FAO divisions, beneficiary countries, bilateral donors, International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and the aid community.
The Investment Centre is participating in international meetings to set priorities and a framework for the Initiative, including mobilizing research and science for innovation and engaging with the private sector to deliver on commitments. Other key areas include accountability with respect to AFSI, G8 and G20 commitments, coordination among AFSI partners and managing for development results.
FAO is supporting implementation of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), a financial pass-through mechanism set up in 2010 to channel part of the money pledged for agriculture and food security by world leaders at the G8 in L’Aquila in 2009.
To date, USD 925 million (equivalent) have been committed to the GAFSP by Australia, Canada, the Gates Foundation, Ireland, South Korea, Spain and the United States of America.
In Africa, AFSI investments are aligned around the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). The FAO Investment Centre has worked closely with several countries to develop their country investment plans and applications for GAFSP funding.
In 2010, GAFSP grants totalling about USD 321 million were awarded to Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Haiti, Mongolia, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Togo. FAO was named supervising entity for technical assistance for both Bangladesh and Ethiopia.
In 2011, Cambodia, Liberia, Nepal and Tajikistan joined the ranks of GAFSP grantees, receiving funds worth a total of USD 160 million.