Thursday, April 22, 2010

World Leaders Put Up Big Money for Agriculture

Canada, Spain, South Korea, and the joint forces of the U.S and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have come together to pledge nearly $900 million dollars for global poverty relief. The Global Agriculture and Food Security program that has been in the making since last year has finally commenced.

Here's the breakdown of funding: USA is the biggest player with $475 million; Canada pledged $230 million; Spain donated $95 million; South Korea with $50 million; and an additional $30 million from the Gates Foundation alone.

The world leaders have called on the World Bank to set up a trust fund for these generous pledges. Canada's and Spain's contributions are already deposited in the bank, a great sign that helpful changes are imminent. $67 million of America's pledge will be transferred in the next few weeks, while the remaining $408 million in funding is pending in President Obama's 2011 budgetary requests.

The fund will work through committees that includes donor and recipient nations, NGOs and other international organizations. The money will go to developing nations that have plans for agricultural success in place. "Investing in small farmers is an incredibly effective way to combat hunger and extreme poverty -- history has proved it many times," said Bill Gates.

-Nick Mohazzabfar