30th July 2010. The US Under Secretary for International Affairs Lael Brainard, along with Sylvia Mathews Burwell, president of the Global Development Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, met with ambassadors and embassy officials from more than a dozen African countries to discuss the increased demand for assistance from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), a new fund to tackle global hunger and poverty.
The fund was created in response to a call by G-20 Leaders in Pittsburgh last year for the World Bank Group to work with interested donors to set up a multi-donor trust fund to implement some of the $22 billion in pledges made by G-8 Leaders at their meeting in L'Aquila. GAFSP grants help countries with vulnerable populations to increase food security, raise rural incomes and reduce poverty.
In October, approximately $120 million will be available for allocation to countries eligible for the GAFSP. More than 25 countries are expected to apply for assistance. Funding will be prioritized for those countries that demonstrate the highest levels of need, the strongest policy environments and the greatest level of country readiness - as measured by the completion of an agricultural development strategy and country investment plan. This follows the fund's first round of grants awarded in June to Bangladesh, Haiti, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Togo totaling $224 million.
Trading Markets 30/07 TREASURY, AFRICAN AMBASSADORS DISCUSS GLOBAL AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECURITY PROGRAM, URGE NEW DONORS TO COME FORWARD