GAFSP is pleased to announce the appointment of a new leadership team. Ms. Corry van Gaal, representing Canada, has taken on the role of Chair of the GAFSP Steering Committee. Mr. Nicholas Strychacz, representing the United States, is now Co-Chair of the Steering Committee and Chair of the Private Sector Window Donor Committee.
The election of the new Chairs comes at a critical time, when the war in Ukraine is exacerbating ongoing stresses and shocks across the globe, pushing millions of people, including smallholder farmers, into hunger and food insecurity. Under the leadership of Canada and the United States, GAFSP is exploring ways to respond quickly and effectively to the emerging food security crisis and is working closely with its membership – donors, countries, development agencies, and civil society organizations – on ways to support locally-led responses.
In addition, given that agriculture and climate change are inextricably linked, GAFSP is accelerating its climate focus to build stronger, more sustainable agriculture and food systems by deepening the integration of climate considerations and solutions into its operations. Smallholder farmers often bear the brunt of the impacts of climate change, and yet can identify and implement resilient and sustainable solutions. This builds on GAFSP’s track record of funding climate-resilient interventions, with roughly two-thirds of GAFSP’s projects contributing to climate change co-benefits.
Ms. van Gaal, Deputy Director of Agriculture and Development Finance at Global Affairs Canada, is an experienced diplomat with extensive experience in international development, sustainable agriculture, and climate financing in challenging international environments. Mr. Strychacz, Deputy Director of the Office of International Development Policy at the US Department of Treasury, is an international economist with extensive experience developing and implementing policy initiatives in the international development and climate finance space.
GAFSP would like to express strong appreciation to the outgoing Chairs. Mr. Dirk Schattschneider of Germany and Ms. Iris Krebber of the UK have left a strong legacy, including the provision of new funding to support COVID-19 response efforts for a more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient recovery of agriculture systems in a changing climate, expanding grant financing to include direct support for farmers through producer organizations, as well as targeted financing to countries affected by fragility, conflict, and violence. Under Germany and the UK’s leadership, GAFSP raised over US$300 million in 2020, representing the first installment of the program’s US$1.5 billion financing target.
Launched by the G20 in the wake of the global response to the 2007–08 food price crisis, GAFSP seeks to build the long-term resilience of agriculture and food systems in low-income countries. To date, GAFSP has provided over US$2 billion in public and private financing in 50 countries worldwide. The Steering Committee is a decision-making body comprised of donors, partner countries, development agencies, and civil society organizations. Together, the Steering Committee and Private Sector Window Donor Committee members set the strategic direction for the program: the former allocates grant funding to low-income countries and to producer organizations in these countries, and the latter provides access to blended finance and advisory services for small and medium-sized enterprises across the agriculture and food value chain.