AfDB to Implement USD 84.5 million Food Security Support for Ethiopia and Niger

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The Global Agriculture and Food Security Fund (GAFSP) Steering Committee approved on, Wednesday, 3 November 2010 in Washington D.C., a USD 97-million grant allocations to three countries. The selected countries are: Ethiopia (USD 51.5 million), Niger (USD 33 million) and Mongolia (USD 12.5 million). For Niger, the implementation will be done by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and for Ethiopia, by the AfDB and World Bank.

The AfDB was represented at the Steering Committee Meeting by the Agriculture and Agro-industry Department Director, Aly Abou-Sabaa.   

The GAFSP country allocation was based on the recommendations of an independent external technical advisory committee that reviewed all the proposals received. The summary of the allocations to the two African countries are as follows:

  • Ethiopia: USD 51.5 million (implemented through the World Bank and the African Development Bank): Support to the Agricultural Growth Program that aims to sustainably increase rural incomes and national food and nutrition security, particularly by developing the untapped potential of well-endowed areas.
  • Niger: US$ 33 million (implemented through the African Development Bank): will contribute to poverty alleviation by sustainably increasing the availability of agricultural products through water harnessing, and the development of small scale irrigation in particularly vulnerable regions such as Maradi, Zinder and Tahoua.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Abou-Sabaa said: “These grants are welcome, especially for Africa, where recent figures show food price volatility (which hit a two-year high) is a growing concern. He said further discussions were being held by the committee with respect to other applications.

The GAFSP is a multilateral mechanism designed to scale-up support to help poor countries alleviate poverty, improve rural livelihoods and improve food security. It will also help in the implementation of pledges to reinvest in agriculture and food security in poor countries made by the G8++ at L’Aquila in July 2009.  It was set up in response to a request from the G20 in Pittsburgh in September 2009. Current donors of GAFSP as of Oct 2010 are: Australia, Bill& Melinda Gated Foundation, Canada, Ireland, South Korea, Spain and USA.