VIENNA, Austria – The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) and the United Nations World Food Programme, Monday, June 19, signed a cooperation agreement to intensify joint efforts to enhance global food security and build climate-resilient food systems.
The collaboration aims to scale-up adaptation to address climate risks in the sector, promote climate-smart and innovative agriculture solutions and accelerate progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 2 “Zero Hunger”.
OPEC fund director-general Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, said:
“We are proud to join forces with the WFP to address the pressing issue of global food security. The partnership underpins our Food Security Action Plan, which provides US$1 billion to support medium and long-term measures in partner countries. The need to develop innovative solutions and to mobilize additional funds has never been more urgent. By leveraging our expertise and resources through this partnership with WFP we can achieve meaningful impact.”
Stanlake Samkange, WFP’s senior director for strategic partnerships, said:
“This partnership with the OPEC Fund for International Development is important and comes at a crucial time. The global food crisis made worse by conflicts, a heating planet, and the macroeconomic scarring of the COVID-19 pandemic requires all of us to put our efforts and resources together for the good of communities and countries. Together with the OPEC Fund we look forward to supporting governments and communities to develop sustainable food systems, better manage economic and climatic shocks, and improve lives and livelihoods.”
The two institutions signed the Memorandum of Understanding Monday in Vienna, Austria on the eve of the OPEC Fund Development Forum, an annual gathering which brings together leaders from OPEC Fund member and partner countries with international development actors.
The increased collaboration between the OPEC Fund and WFP will prioritize the needs of smallholder farmers and rural communities most vulnerable to climate change, especially women. The partners will work to design projects and programs to help eligible countries, undertake joint activities in technical assistance, capacity building and the promotion of innovative technical and financial solutions and promote knowledge sharing.
The OPEC Fund’s US$1 billion Food Security Action Plan was launched in June 2022 and put into action immediately with a US$100 million loan to Jordan, followed by loans in Zimbabwe (US$15 million), Côte d’Ivoire (US$60 million), Paraguay (US$30 million) and Uzbekistan (US$50 million) to support food security projects in these countries.