$100 million will be used to reform agriculture and help alleviate the food crisis disproportionately impacting communities in Africa and South Asia.
During United Nations General Assembly week, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—alongside governments, philanthropies, the private sector, NGOs, and global and community leaders announced commitments totalling $1.27 billion to improve and save millions of lives.
Out of the total amount, $100 million will be used to reform agriculture and help alleviate the food crisis disproportionately impacting communities in Africa and South Asia. It will be given to the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) to support national governments in rebuilding resilient, sustainable local food systems. The other beneficiary will be the African Fertiliser and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) to make fertilisers affordable and accessible for smallholder farmers.
The amount will be used by the CGIAR’s Nigeria-based International Institute of Tropical Agriculture research center to accelerate work that is already supplying farmers with improved and new varieties of crops, such as beans high in iron; sweet potatoes naturally rich in vitamin A; and naturally hardy cassava, millet, and sorghum. The funding will also facilitate working with partners to supply sustainable feed and fodder to African families that depend on livestock as a critical source of income and nutrient-dense food. It will also be utilised to strengthen local food systems by empowering women farmers with the tools and resources they need to succeed and support their communities
“This week has underscored the urgency of the challenges we face, and the promise of sustainable solutions that save and improve lives,” said Mark Suzman, Gates Foundation CEO. “We can get back on track toward the SDGs, but it’s going to take a new level of collaboration and investment from every sector. That’s why our foundation is significantly stepping up our commitment to help confront crises now and ensure long-term impact across critical determinants of health and development,” he further added.