AfDB releases $1.5 billion to avert food crisis in Africa
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has released a global aid package of $1.5 billion to prevent a food crisis on the African continent due to the Ukraine-Russia conflict.
“This plan of 1.5 billion dollars will be used to help African countries to produce food and to do it quickly,” said AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina, before the opening of the General Assemblies of the financial institution that began Monday in Accra.
This aid plan, approved Friday by the board of directors of the bank, aims to “increase the production of wheat, corn, rice and soybeans” on the continent “to compensate for the loss of supply due to the Ukraine-Russia war,” the AfDB said in a statement.
With the disruption of food supplies arising from the Russia-Ukraine war, Africa now faces a shortage of at least 30 million tons of food, especially wheat, maize, and soybeans imported from both countries.
African farmers urgently need high-quality seeds and inputs before the planting season begins in May to immediately boost food supplies.
The African Development Bank’s $1.5 billion African Emergency Food Production Facility is an unprecedented comprehensive initiative to support smallholder farmers in filling the food shortfall.
The Facility will provide 20 million African smallholder farmers with certified seeds, fertilizer, and extension services over the next four farming seasons.
It will also provide loan guarantees, and other financial instruments and support market growth and post-harvest management.
This assistance will enable the production of 38 million tons of food, representing a $12 billion increase in food production in just two years, the AfDB statement said.
Many African countries are heavily dependent on wheat imports from Ukraine and Russia. According to the AfDB, the price of wheat has risen by more than 45% in Africa since the beginning of the war. Fertilizer prices have increased by 300%, and the continent is already facing a fertilizer shortage of 2 million tons.