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Arab-Africa trade launches $1.5bn to address food security

Nigeria’s food crisis demands bold action

The Executive Committee of the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Program, a multi-donor, Inter-regional program, on Thursday launched a US$1.5 billion food security pogram to address the issues of food insecurity in the Arab and African regions amidst the ongoing global food security crisis.

The crisis is a critical challenge facing the world today and continues to be a top priority on the international development agenda.

The hybrid launch event, which took place at the headquarters of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in Cairo on Thursday July 6, 2023, was attended by the various partners of the AATB program as well as top-tier regional and local media. Members of the Executive Committee addressed the gathering and highlighted the relevance of the Food Security Program to their member countries.

By emphasizing its special interest in the food sector, AATB aims to leverage its expertise, resources, and partnerships to implement targeted engagements that address the specific challenges faced by member countries.

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The Food Security Program is developed around the four pillars of the AATB Program, namely Trade, Investment, Insurance, and Infrastructure. In addition, the program incorporates a fifth element, which is capacity development and technical assistance, serving as a cross-cutting theme and an enabling factor.

As part of the program, funded and unfunded financial transactions related to food security will be provided, alongside capacity development and technical assistance services.

The primary aim of the program in the short term is to address the immediate food security requirements of member countries, with a specific focus on ensuring the resources for a consistent and reliable supply of essential food commodities. This objective also recognizes the urgency of meeting the immediate needs of populations facing food insecurity.

Additionally, by attracting investments, upgrading infrastructure, optimizing value chains, and fostering cooperation, the program aims at building resilient and sustainable food systems that ensure the availability, accessibility, and affordability of nutritious food for all. These measures will contribute to long-term food security and support the overall socio-economic development of the region.

The Food Security Program is a key focus of AATB, reflecting its commitment to addressing the evolving priorities of member countries in crucial sectors such as health and food security for sustainable development. By prioritizing the food sector, AATB recognizes its importance for human well-being, economic growth, environmental sustainability, and interconnected development.

Through this Program and associated initiatives, AATB aims to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and promoting inclusive economic development among member countries.