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New Pledges Expand GAFSP's Food Security Work in World's Poorest Countries

Rachel Kyte's picture

When you want to put money, ideas, innovation, and hard work together to increase food security, there’s nowhere better than the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program – GAFSP.

Don’t just believe me. Listen to the Rwandan farmers whose now-terraced hillsides are getting higher yields, producing better nutrition, and improving their livelihoods.

Similar stories can be told in Tajikistan, Sierra Leone, Bangladesh, and elsewhere.

Japan and the Republic of Korea are among those convinced that GAFSP is a good investment in food security. Inspired by a challenge from the Unites States, Japan and South Korea just pledged an additional $60 million to GAFSP at a meeting in Tokyo held in conjunction with the World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings.

The United States announced that it was prepared to contribute an additional $1 to GAFSP for every $2 contributed by other donors, up to a total of $475 million.

Why is GAFSP so successful? Canada, one of the first investors in the multi-donor trust fund, established in 2010 to improve food security in the world’s poorest countries, put it well:

  • First, its targeted funds go to countries where the best ideas come from and where the government is committed to progress in the agricultural sector;
  • Second, it aims for transformational change, not just another set of projects;
  • Third, it is evidence based, focused on continuous improvement, monitoring and evaluation, and impact assessment;
  • Fourth, it’s inclusive in both in design and execution – NGOs, famers, and the private sector are all involved;
  • Fifth, it is transparent in its operations and accountable for results.

It’s an uninspiring acronym for such a purposeful and exciting program that shows immediate results.

There is always room for improvement – the private and public sector windows should build synergies in countries. GAFSP needs to continue to focus on women farmers and activities that have the greatest impact on women. It also needs to support activities that have the greatest nutrition security outcomes, and it needs to be able to move even faster.

But the direction of travel is right. It is one of the most effective development partnerships of our time. The challenges of food and nutrition security are daunting, but GAFSP shows us what it takes to make reasonable progress.

What we need now is more support as demand outstrips supply.

The generosity of public and private sector donors in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, plus the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, can be joined by others who seek efficiency and effectiveness in their solidarity with farmers in some of the poorest countries of the world.

 

Rachel Kyte
Vice President for Sustainable Development
www.worldbank.org/sustainabledevelopment
Twitter: @rkyte365

Comments

Submitted by david on
now lets hope they can maintain some sense of civility and continue on with this.

Submitted by jjessica256 on
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