AfDB approves $1bn emergency facility to boost food security in Africa

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African Development Bank (AfDB) says it has approved a $1.13 billion fund for 24 African countries to ensure food security. 

The approval comes on the heels of the rising food prices and inflation caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine, climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In Nigeria, the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the rate of change in prices of goods and services, surged to 18.60 percent in June 2022 — hitting a 5-year high.

In a statement on Tuesday, AfDB said the first round of approvals was part of the bank’s $1.5 billion African emergency food production facility, established in May to boost food security. 

“The African Emergency Food Production Facility will enable African farmers to produce 38 million additional tons of food over the next two years. This is food worth an estimated $12 billion,” the bank said.

It said the approval, which was made on July 15, culminated in “$1.13 billion in mixed financing for emergency facility programs targeting 24 countries — eight countries in West Africa; five in East Africa; six in Southern Africa; four in Central Africa and one in North Africa”.

It added that the approval would see more farmers access climate-smart seed, fertiliser, and other supports.

Beth Dunford, AfDB’s vice-president for agriculture, human and social development, said: “This is a landmark week for the African Development Bank and the African Emergency Food Production Facility”.

“These programs will deliver much-needed climate-adapted seeds, access to affordable fertilisers and usher in policy reforms to enable the agriculture sector to supply immediate, medium and long-term solutions to challenges faced in regional member countries,” Dunford said.

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