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GAFSP Provides New Funding for Countries to Strengthen the Resilience of Smallholder Farmers

Originally published on the World Bank website

WASHINGTON, March 20, 2023 – USD$220 million in new agricultural investment grants for 15 countries was announced by the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), a global multilateral fund dedicated to reducing food insecurity and poverty in low-income countries.

These grants will help countries design and implement solutions in line with their current agriculture and food security strategies, providing additional financing and co-financing of existing projects prioritized by the country with support from GAFSP’s implementing partners - the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Inter-American Development Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development, World Bank, and the World Food Programme.

GAFSP works in close synergy with the Global Alliance on Food Security (GAFS), jointly convened by the German Group of Seven (G7) Presidency and the World Bank Group. The Program serves as a key mechanism to reinforce food security in-country dialogues highlighted by the GAFS, where GAFSP grant funding can be a source of financing for priorities identified through these country dialogues.

“Food security is no sprint but a marathon that needs investments in long-term resilient and sustainable agriculture - like the ones from GAFSP. The new contributions are a significant and sustainable multilateral response to the current food crisis,” said Mrs. Svenja Schulze, German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Through the open Call for Proposals, the Program received complete applications from 27 countries, with about 80% of the requested amount for investment in the Africa region. Demand for GAFSP financing remains high and highlights the need in low-income countries to receive support for their actions to respond to the current food security crisis.

“Hundreds of thousands of farmers have already benefited from GAFSP’s grant support. Building on that success, this new grant financing will provide critical support to communities suffering from the aftershocks of multiple crises, by helping them build their resilience to uplift their communities,” said Mr. Abdoul Salam Bello, the Executive Director of the Africa Group II, the World Bank Group Board of Directors. “We need GAFSP more than ever with its flexible and unique setup to provide support to the most vulnerable communities.”

The new country grants – to Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Lao PDR, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Nepal, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Togo, Republic of Yemen - will help countries build food systems resilience and help vulnerable communities secure their livelihoods.

“As an international community we must continue to provide support to countries to respond to the ongoing food security crisis. GAFSP is exactly the type of instrument that can deliver for smallholder farmers by putting them at the center of the response,” said Mr. Hong Won Yu, Director of Food Security at Global Affairs Canada.

This is the seventh call for agricultural investments in countries eligible for development assistance from the International Development Association (IDA) – the part of the World Bank that helps the world’s poorest countries. Proposals were selected based on recommendations of an independent review conducted by global agriculture experts, and then selected through a competitive process by the Program’s Steering Committee, composed of donors, recipient countries, civil society organizations, and multilateral development agencies, including the World Bank.

GAFSP would like to thank its donors. The most recent contributions from Spain (USD$10.6 million), the United States (USD$10 million), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (USD$7.5 million) coupled with those received earlier from the United States (USD$155 million) and Germany (USD$220 million) enable GAFSP to continue supporting smallholder families and their communities in the most vulnerable countries in the world.

Launched by the G20 in response to the 2007-08 food price crisis, GAFSP is a multilateral financing instrument dedicated to fighting hunger, malnutrition, and poverty through increased investment in agriculture in the world’s poorest countries. GAFSP supports resilient and sustainable agriculture that benefits smallholder farmers and their families by channeling financing through leading development agencies, including the World Bank. Since its inception, GAFSP has received US$1.9 billion in contributions from Australia, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Funds support countries, producer organizations, and agribusinesses in their medium- to long-term efforts to improve the livelihoods, food security, and resilience of smallholder farmers.