The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group have signed a US$500 million agreement to support countries vulnerable to climate change. The funds will be used to finance adaptation actions in rural areas.
African countries will be the main beneficiaries of $500 million in funding recently allocated by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. The funds allocated by the two financial institutions are intended to combat famine aggravated by climate change. This is particularly true in the Sahel, where climate change is compounded by insecurity.
Climate change is also causing famine in the Horn of Africa and parts of Eastern and Southern Africa. IFAD and IsDB will finance climate change adaptation solutions in 57 IDB member countries, many of which are in Africa. These include Senegal, Burkina Faso, Benin, Uganda, Gabon and Mali.
“This agreement will allow us to increase the impact of our work in areas of common interest, such as improving access to markets and rural financial services, increasing resilience to climate change and using technology and innovation to optimise results,” says IsDB President Bandar Hajjar. The partnership will jointly develop financing and investment programmes to help (IsDB) member countries exploit new opportunities to build resilience and create wealth in the post-Covid-19 world,” he added.
Over the next five years, the IsDB and IFAD will finance rural agricultural development projects; support agricultural enterprises; improve access to rural markets and financial services; and improve water supply for rural development. The two financial institutions also plan to support trade between South-South countries to accelerate agricultural development.
Despite the adverse effects of climate change, Africa has many opportunities for agricultural development. According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), Africa has a wide variety of agro-ecological zones, ranging from rainforests with two rainy seasons to relatively sparse, dry and arid vegetation that is watered once a year. Therefore, IFAD and IsDB action should be concentrated in countries known for their arid climates, notably in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa.
Jean Marie Takouleu