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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Food security: Equatorial Guinea boosts new solidarity fund with N4, 7bn

With the donation of $30 million, about N4, 724,096,988 Equatorial Guinea has contributed to a new solidarity trust fund on the February 22, 2013 that aims to organize African financial resources in support of strengthening food security on the continent, reports India Education.

The first donation to the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund was made official in a ceremony at the limits of the third Africa-South America Summit in Malabo, attended by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.

Speaking at a meeting with the President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Graziano da Silva said that before the signature of the donation agreement, “that the contribution was a sign of the country's commitment to eradicate hunger in Africa.”
NaijaAgroNet reports that Maria Helena Semedo (FAO Regional Representative in Africa), who signed the agreement on behalf of FAO, also said that the generous contribution by Equatorial Guinea will help transform political will to end hunger into concrete action.
She also invited other countries to follow this example and lend their financial support as well.
Further, NaijaAgroNet gathered that the goal of the new trust fund is to get resources from Africa's strongest economies and use them across the continent to support national and regional food security initiatives aimed at eradicating hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.
NaijaAgroNet recalls that the idea of the fund was launched during FAO's April 2012 regional conference held in the Republic of Congo, when the host President Denis Sassou Nguesso, called for greater solidarity between African nations to fight hunger.

Apart from Equatorial Guinea, other African countries like Angola have expressed their intention to contribute to the fund, as President José Eduardo dos Santos told Graziano da Silva when he visited Luanda in late January 2013.

The Africa Solidarity Trust Fund is intended to complement and not to replace development assistance from overseas donors.
At the onset, it will focus in particular on strengthening the flexibility of rural families and communities in the face of recurrent famine and other crises.
FAO regional representative also said that "We can end hunger in Africa if we work together under the leadership of African governments and regional institutions, learning from one another through South-South cooperation and other exchanges".
Semedo also explained that the effort should involve not only governments and international organizations like FAO, but also civil society, the private sector, academia and other partners.


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