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Donors pledge $17m to Africa Solidarity Trust Fund

Staff writer
June 12, 2019, 1:33 p.m.
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African and non-regional donors have pledged $17m to replenish the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund, an initiative which aims to provide food security and eliminate rural poverty on the African continent.

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African and non-regional donors have pledged $17m to replenish the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund, an initiative which aims to provide food security and eliminate rural poverty on the African continent.

The fund raised a total of $17m - $10m from Angola, $2.6m from China, €2m from France, $2m from Equatorial Guinea and $100,000 from Zimbabwe.

The Fund, an initiative of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, received its start-up contribution of $30m from Equatorial Guinea and Angola, which gave $10m.

Its projects have been lauded for providing innovative solutions for African agriculture and food systems.

Speaking on behalf of African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina, Bank Vice President Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Jennifer Blanke said Africa faced challenges in the area of agriculture and food production, relying heavily on food imports. 

“It’s so important that ASTF is showing that African countries are contributing to Africa..that links very closely to what we are doing,” Blanke said, adding that the Bank’s commitment to providing farmers with technologies to help improve their yields.

The Fund has led to the successful implantation of 18 projects that have benefitted 41 countries and hundreds and thousands of beneficiaries, including 160 vulnerable households in Niger who saw transformation and grants which enabled a rapid response to populations affected in the Ebola outbreak in west Africa in 2014.

Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), said: “We celebrate the success of the ASTF …the excellent results of the fund over the last five years is living testimony.”

She said the generosity of the donors was unique evidence of strong solidarity between African countries.

The pledges were made at a high-level donor round table convened by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation and Equatorial Guinea President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, on the sidelines of the African Development Bank’s 2019 Annual Meetings currently underway in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

The donor conference was attended by the presidents of Mauritania, Guinea Bissau, the prime minister of Eswatini and several high-ranking diplomats, ministers and development and banking institutions.

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