African heads of state and government have strongly urged other world leaders to increase their funding for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), failing to jeopardize the achievement of the sustainable development goals aimed at eliminating the poverty and hunger, especially in Africa.
“We subscribe to IFAD’s vision of building vibrant rural communities where everyone lives free from poverty and hunger,” wrote the leaders of Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso. , Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia, Kenya, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo in letters to their counterparts in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania.
“It is now more important than ever to invest in building the resilience of rural populations to ensure food security, protect the livelihoods of rural populations, ensure that the progress made over the years is not reduced to nothing and prevent other people in rural areas from falling into poverty and hunger. ”
Africa is currently facing conflict, changing weather conditions, pests and the socio-economic consequences of COVID-19. Hunger on the continent is at twice the world average.
IFAD is the only multilateral development organization dedicated exclusively to eradicating poverty and hunger in rural areas. In their letters, African leaders called for a significant increase in contributions to IFAD’s Twelfth Replenishment (IFAD12) – a year-long consultative process in which member states meet to agree on strategic directions to be adopted and to mobilize funds that IFAD will provide to developing countries in the form of grants and concessional loans.
“The support shown to us by African Heads of State and Government illustrates IFAD’s real impact on the lives and livelihoods of rural people in these countries,” said Marie Haga, IFAD Deputy Vice-President. head of the Department of External Relations and Governance. “It shows us how important it is to invest in rural areas to ensure food security, environmental sustainability and national economic development, all of which have a huge impact on stability and resilience. worldwide.”
About 75% of the world’s poorest people live in rural areas and earn a living from agriculture and related activities. In these letters, African leaders emphasize the immense potential of African agriculture and vigorously demonstrate that investing in agriculture is one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty.
IFAD aims to put in place a global program of work of USD 10 billion for the period covered by IFAD12 (2022-2024), allocating more than half of its investments to Africa. Such mobilization is expected to help more than 140 million smallholders increase their production and income by facilitating their access to markets and strengthening their resilience, which will help create jobs and improve the food security and nutrition of those who live in them. are most at risk of being left behind.
“If successful, the Replenishment will unlock billions of dollars in funding for transforming rural economies and food systems around the world, and empower the Fund to double its impact by 2030 and help eradicate poverty and hunger, ”the leaders explained.
The worldwide pandemic is particularly affecting poor and vulnerable populations, including rural women, young people and small farmers. Faced with the socio-economic repercussions of the pandemic and the effects of prolonged drought and locust invasions, African leaders called on all countries of the world to collectively reaffirm their commitment to ending hunger.