Innovative Partnerships to Respond to Hunger

Published: October 27, 2022

Bread for the World is encouraged to see a renewed commitment to and recognition of GAFSP’s importance in the global food security financing landscape.

At last month’s Global Food Security Summit, convened by the United States, European Union, African Union, Spain, Germany, Nigeria, Indonesia, and Colombia alongside the annual United Nations General Assembly, President Biden announced $2.9 billion in new assistance from the U.S. government to address global food insecurity.

The announcement included $150 million for the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, or GAFSP, a multilateral financing initiative Bread for the World has championed.

GAFSP is unique among international financial institutions in that its programs provide financing not only to country governments and private sector companies but also directly to farmers. For example, GAFSP gave grants to two farmers’ organizations in Senegal, l’Association des producteurs de la vallée du fleuve Gambie and Yacare Niani Wulli, so that they could purchase the materials needed to improve their production of organic bananas as well as two water pumping stations – bananas famously need a great deal of water to grow and thrive. The two grants reached a total of 1,685 people, including 979 women.  

The United States was pivotal in founding GAFSP, along with other G-20 countries, as part of its response to the global food crisis of 2007-2008. In 2012, the United States led the way in mobilizing additional funds for GAFSP by pledging to contribute $1 to GAFSP for every $2 from other donors, up to a maximum U.S. contribution of $475 million.

The goal was reached by 2015, after which U.S. contributions to GAFSP dropped significantly. This fall’s announcement of new funding reverses that trend.

The U.S. contribution of $150 million enabled GAFSP to launch a new round of funding for food security projects, both those that respond to hunger emergencies and those that build medium- to long-term resilience in food systems. Both are extremely important to ending hunger in our lifetime. This financing will be a critical piece of the puzzle, supporting lower-income countries, communities, and smallholder farmers as they figure out ways of reducing the impact of current crises and establishing an economic recovery with a more sustainable, resilient food system.

Bread for the World is encouraged to see a renewed commitment to and recognition of GAFSP’s importance in the global food security financing landscape. In a global food crisis such as the one we face in 2022, everyone needs to come to the table to help achieve the needed transformations in the global food system and to ensure that everyone has access to healthy, nutritious food for themselves and their families.

GAFSP provides an opportunity for governments, civil society, producer organizations, and the private sector to come together to improve global access to healthy foods.

Jordan Teague is interim director, policy analysis and coalition building, with Bread for the World.