On February 25, the Republic of Equatorial Guinea helped bring Africa one step closer to food security by donating $30 million, the very first contribution, to the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund. Originated during the April 2012 regional conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization in the Republic of the Congo, the goal of the trust fund is to assemble resources and funds from the wealthiest African countries and use them to strengthen and support food security efforts across the continent.
The $30 million donations was made during an official ceremony at the third annual Africa-South America Summit in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea. FAO Director Jose Graziano da Silva, who attended the ceremony, commended the country’s commitment to ending hunger in Africa. FAO African regional representative Maria Semedo invited other African countries to lend financial support commenting that “This generous contribution by Equatorial Guinea helps transform political will to end hunger into concrete action.”
Intended to complement international development aid, not replace it, the Fund will primarily support Africa-directed initiatives and programs that will improve food security and agricultural productivity. One example is the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program, which works to reduce poverty through environmentally sound agricultural and land management practices, as well as improved food supply and market access. Its first efforts will focus on improving regional responses to recurring droughts and other environmental crises that cause food insecurity.
Founded in 1945, the Food and Agriculture Organization works to improve nutrition and standard of living in rural communities by increasing agricultural productivity. With 180 member nations, it is the largest autonomous UN agency. It is the FAO’s hope that other African countries, international organizations, and private sector establishments will follow the example set by Equatorial Guinea and donate to the fund. Working on national, regional, and community levels, the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund is bringing Africa closer to achieving food security.
– Kat Henrichs
Photo: Skoll World Forum