Five years ago, in the wake of a devastating crisis in food prices, world leaders committed to fight global hunger and poverty by reversing a decades-long decline in agriculture investment in developing countries through sustained financial and technical assistance. The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) - a multi-donor trust fund and partnership among developing countries, development partners, civil society, and the private sector – uses innovative approaches to help the world's poorest farmers produce more food and earn higher incomes so they can lift themselves and their communities out of poverty and hunger.
Since GAFSP was established in 2010, we have seen sustainable reductions in global rates of hunger and malnutrition, but the challenge of meeting the global demand for food is just as pressing as ever. By 2050, it is estimated the world will need to produce 60 percent more food to feed a global population of more than nine billion. Smallholder farmers and others living in poverty in the world's poorest countries remain particularly vulnerable to food price shocks and are likely to face increased competition over land, water, and other resources as a result of climate change.
GAFSP is tackling these challenges by pooling donor resources to finance country-led agriculture and food security investment strategies in the world's poorest and most food insecure countries. GAFSP targets countries with high levels of poverty and hunger that have already contributed some of their own resources to developing and implementing long-term food security plans reflecting country ownership and priorities. The selection of projects is based on a rigorous, competitive process that generates results. GAFSP's current portfolio is expected to improve the livelihoods of at least 13 million farmers across 25 countries in Latin America, Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. Early results have been promising, with rural incomes increasing by over 400 percent in some countries. However, demand from countries far exceeds available resources - GAFSP has received $4 billion in grants proposal requests and awarded $913 million to date, out of total available resources of$979 million.
Recognizing the potential of the GAFSP model and the need for additional funding, the United States issued a challenge to other countries in 2012: for every $2 from other donors, the United States is committed to contribute $1 to GAFSP, up to a total U.S. contribution of$475 million. To date, other donors have committed $230 million in new pledges. An additional $720 million from other donors is required to meet our funding challenge. We hope your government will join the United States and other donors by pledging funds to GAFSP to help boost agricultural incomes and reduce global hunger.
As Secretary of State and Secretary of the Treasury, we are proud to champion this innovative program. We call upon you, our partners, to join us in supporting the work of GAFSP. Together, we can make progress in the effort to eradicate global hunger and poverty.
Jacob J. Lew
Secretary of the Treasury
John F. Kerry
Secretary of State