AKIPRESS.COM - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today announced plans to provide at least $14 billion over 2022–2025 in a comprehensive program of support to ease a worsening food crisis in Asia and the Pacific, and improve long-term food security by strengthening food systems against the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss.
The assistance expands ADB’s already significant support for food security in the region, where nearly 1.1 billion people lack healthy diets due to poverty and food prices which have soared to record highs this year. The funding will be channeled through existing and new projects in sectors including farm inputs, food production and distribution, social protection, irrigation, and water resources management, as well as projects leveraging nature-based solutions. ADB will 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.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has disrupted supplies of food staples and fertilizer, straining a global food system already weakened by climate change impacts, pandemic-related supply shocks, and unsustainable farming practices.
Asia and the Pacific is vulnerable to food shocks, as some of its countries depend on imported staples and fertilizer. Even before the invasion of Ukraine, nutritious food was unaffordable for significant portions of the population in many ADB low-income member countries.
As well as supporting vulnerable people, ADB’s food security assistance will promote open trade, improve smallholder farm production and livelihoods, ease shortages of fertilizer and promote its efficient use or organic alternatives, support investments in food production and distribution, enhance nutrition, and boost climate resilience through integrated and nature-based solutions. A key focus will be to protect the region’s natural environment from climate change impacts and biodiversity loss, which have degraded soils, freshwater, and marine ecosystems.