A woker carries a sack of wheat flour outside a food store in Sanaa, Yemen. Reuters
The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group endorsed a $10.54 billion comprehensive Food Security Response programme (FSRP) package that will support member countries in addressing the ongoing food crisis and, most importantly, scale up the Group’s continued efforts to contribute to strengthening its members’ resilience to food security shocks in the future.
The package was approved during an extraordinary joint meeting of the IsDB Board of Executive Directors, the Board of Directors of the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), and the Board of Directors of the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC).
As part of the IsDB Group comprehensive package, the IsDB will contribute up to $5.7 billion in total financing to member countries, comprising new approvals worth $4.0 billion and fast-tracking of disbursements for existing projects worth $1.7 billion. In addition, as part of its “One Group-One Goal” approach, the programme involves significant and direct contributions by IsDB Group entities as follows: (i) International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC): $4.5 billion in trade financing; (ii) Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector ( ICD): $269 million in private sector development operations; (iii) ISFD: $75 million in loans, grants, and capital resources; and (iv) ICIEC: $500 million in political and credit insurance coverage. To complement the financial package of the IsDB Group, the Islamic Development Bank Institute (IsDBi) will provide critical data, analytics, and evidence-based support for effective and impactful decision-making.
To jump-start the programme, the financing package is expected to provide immediate financing of up to $3.2 billion (over the coming 18-month period) for short-term interventions by providing (i) emergency food and agricultural supply and (ii) social protection and livelihood support to the most vulnerable populations.
The primary focus of the programme and the bulk of the financing envelope of the remaining $7.3 billion, which will span over the next three years, will be on developing innovative medium- and long-term interventions to address structural weaknesses and root causes of food insecurity in the member states.
These include low productivity, rural poverty, climate change, and weak resilience of regional and national agricultural and food systems through six (6) key initiatives: (i) building agricultural resilience to climate change; (ii) food and input value-chains; (iii) smallholders’ productivity and market access; (iv) rural livelihood support; (v) livestock and fisheries development; and (vi) building resilient food supply systems.
The total IsDB Group’s financing support for agriculture and food security currently stands at $20.6 billion, comprising 1,538 operations.
Meanwhile during its second meeting for 2022 on Thursday, the Emirates Food Security Council (EFSC) discussed the latest global developments in the agricultural sector, in addition to food availability locally and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Food Price Index (FFPI), with relevant federal and local authorities.
The Council members addressed several vital issues related to local and global food security challenges. They also examined recommendations of the National Committee for Developing Local Production and Technology, explored the current state of food prices locally and mechanisms for regulating them, and reviewed the National Nutrition Strategy.
Mariam Bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment and Chair of EFSC, emphasised that the UAE prioritizes food security, and places great importance on reinforcing its capabilities to address the challenges created by global developments that impact the stability of food supply chains and food availability worldwide.
She said: “Enhancing food security primarily relies on understanding its unique nature, as it is directly affected by changes in all sectors while influencing other sectors in turn. Thus, addressing it demands an integrated and agile ecosystem of cooperation and coordination across all relevant sectors, authorities, and institutions. Creating such an ecosystem is the mandate of EFSC.”
She clarified that understanding pressing global challenges is the only way to tackle them and reduce the risk of global food insecurity. That aim requires urgent steps by everyone concerned to see food from a more inclusive perspective, and to consider its role as a critical factor in achieving a major shift towards a better future.
During their second meeting of this year, the Council members assessed the latest developments in the agricultural sector worldwide through early monitoring data on agricultural production, using reports produced by the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) and FAO’s Food Outlook.