Major spending boost is needed to bolster agriculture and fight against hunger, poverty and other consequences of climate change, the head of the UN International Fund for Agricultural development told international media. Gilbert Houngbo, the president of the International Fund for Agriculture Development IFAD said on Tuesday that the organisation is seeking a boost of a US $1.7bil from member states to cover between 2022 and 2024. He added that the agency’s needs have considerably risen with an increase in hunger around the world.
IFAD will soon launch an ‘exceptional’ appeal to the member states due to the growing challenges linked to climate change, he added in a telephone interview to international media. He further elaborated on the amount of help the UN agency would get with a 54 % jump in the budget. The appeal is scheduled to be made at the fund’s board meeting in Rome later this week.
The number of people suffering from malnutrition has been on a rise since 2015 and reached 820 million in 2018. Hunger and small-scale agriculture are intricately linked as 80 per cent of the poor live in rural areas and small farmers account for half of the food by calories produced in the world. With climate change making it more difficult to farm in some areas, there is added pressure for migration, the international news agency reported.
Meanwhile, the World Bank estimates that climate change could push more than 100 million people into poverty, with half of them due to its impact on agriculture such as inadequate rain and lower yields. Houngbo also called for shifting some of the climate change funding which overwhelmingly goes towards reduction in pollution.
With inputs from agencies