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Thursday, May 23, 2024

ADB commits $14b to bolster Asia’s food security

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THE Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Wednesday it is on track to deliver its $14-billion commitment by 2025 to bolster food security in Asia and the Pacific, including the Philippines.

It said that as of end-2023, it committed $7.6 billion, or about 52 percent of total allocation. In response to food security challenges brought about by climate change and biodiversity loss in the region, the ADB announced the funding commitment in September 2022 over a four-year period.

“Food insecurity is causing tremendous suffering and undermining the prospects for development. The world needs to act urgently to address this crisis exacerbated by extreme weather events and geopolitical conflicts,” said ADB president Masatsugu Asakawa at the Asia and the Pacific Food Security Forum 2024 in Manila.

“We need to accelerate food systems transformation by safeguarding and reinvesting in the region’s natural capital and ecosystems, bolstering support for farmers and agribusinesses and facilitating open trade for efficient food distribution,” he said.

ADB supports efforts to safeguard food security in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the People’s Republic of China, the Philippines, Solomon Islands and other members.

Following the call for stronger partnerships for food systems transformation, ADB signed a cooperation agreement with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), the world’s largest publicly funded group of agri-food systems research centers. The agreement will help ADB scale up proven innovative technologies developed by CGIAR centers to address food and water security, climate, and nutrition challenges. 

A letter of intent was also signed between ADB and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) of India, which is a financial organization specializing in uplifting the agricultural sector and fostering rural progress.

The agreement will guide ADB–NABARD cooperation to extend loans and credit for farming, small industries, and various rural enterprises.

The Asia and the Pacific Food Security Forum 2024 is expected to be attended by about 500 onsite and over 1,000 online participants from ADB members to discuss solutions that can help ease the worsening food crisis and enhance the resilience of food systems in the region.

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