Asian Development Bank pledges $14 billion for food security in Asia, Pacific by 2025

Announced funding will be channelled through new and existing projects in sectors such as farm inputs, social protection and irrigation



Photo: AP
Photo: AP

By ANI

Published: Wed 28 Sep 2022, 10:39 AM

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced plans to provide at least $14 billion over the 2022-25 period as support to ease a "worsening food crisis" in Asia and the Pacific.

It aims to improve long-term food security by strengthening food systems against the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss.

Nearly 1.1 billion people in the region lack healthy diets due to poverty and food prices, which have soared to record highs this year, the development bank said.

The Russia-Ukraine tensions have disrupted food staples and fertiliser supplies, straining a global food system already weakened by climate change and pandemic-related supply shocks.

The bank added that even before the Ukraine crisis, nutritious food was unaffordable for significant portions of the population in many low-income member countries.

"This is a timely and urgently-needed response to a crisis that is leaving too many poor families in Asia hungry and in deeper poverty," said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa, in remarks at ADB's 55th Annual Meeting, as per a statement.

"We need to act now, before the impacts of climate change worsen and further erode the region's hard-won development gains. Our support will be targeted, integrated, and impactful to help vulnerable people, particularly vulnerable women, in the near-term, while bolstering food systems to reduce the impact of emerging and future food security risks," explained Asakawa.

The announced funding will be channelled through new and existing projects in sectors such as farm inputs, food production and distribution, social protection, irrigation, and water resources management, as well as projects leveraging nature-based solutions.

ADB said it would continue to invest in other activities which contribute to food security, such as energy transition, transport, access to rural finance, environmental management, health, and education.

"An important part of our long-term approach is to safeguard natural resources and support farmers and agribusinesses which produce and distribute much of the region's food, and to promote open trade to ensure it reaches consumers efficiently," he added.

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