Global Environment Facility Approves $2.9 Billion For FAO-Led Agri-Food Transformation

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News in brief:
– The Global Environment Facility (GEF) approves 48 FAO-led projects, totaling $2.9 billion, to transform agri-food systems globally.
– It has the potential to improve the lives of 4.2 million people in 46 countries and mitigate 133 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has sanctioned 48 projects led by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), allocating a substantial $2.9 billion to drive a sustainable agri-food systems overhaul.

This initiative, benefiting 46 countries, holds significant implications for local farmers as the international food body explained in its latest blog post.

Key highlights of the FAO-led projects

  • Unprecedented Funding: GEF’s approval marks the largest work program for FAO projects. This financial injection comprises $294 million in project financing and $2.6 billion in co-financing.
  • Transformative Impact: The projects aim to positively impact 4.2 million individuals across five regions globally. They encompass the restoration of over 474,000 hectares of land, improvement of practices on 24 million hectares, and management enhancement of 2 million hectares of protected areas on land and sea.
  • Environmental Conservation: The initiatives will play a pivotal role in mitigating 133 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and eliminating 202 metric tons of hazardous agrochemicals, fostering a sustainable balance between agrifood systems and environmental conservation.

FAO-Led Agri-Food Systems

FAO Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo highlights the local impact, “Working closely on the ground with partners and countries, these projects have the potential to improve millions of lives through agrifood systems transformation while helping achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”

In focus: three new FAO-led programs

  • Food Systems Integrated Program (FSIP): A $252 million project focusing on transforming global agri-food systems, benefiting 32 countries. It aims to make these systems sustainable, resilient, inclusive, and pollution-free, with a specific focus on eight key agri-food value chains and sectors.
  • Clean and Healthy Ocean Integrated Program: This $100 million initiative targets reducing land-based ocean pollution in nine Large Marine Ecosystems, promoting sustainable blue economy goals and aligning with global biodiversity frameworks.
  • Central Asia Water and Land Nexus Program: With a budget of $26 million, this program aims to enhance water security, increase resilience, and improve rural livelihoods in the Amu Darya and Syr Darya basins across five Central Asian countries.

Global collaboration

A total of 46 countries, including Nigeria, have partnered with FAO to access finance from the GEF, highlighting the collaborative nature of these endeavors. The projects span a wide geographic scope, benefitting nations from Angola to Vietnam and covering diverse agricultural landscapes and challenges.

Chinwendu Ohabughiro
Chinwendu Ohabughiro
Chinwendu Gift Ohabughiro has a background in English and Literary Studies from Imo State University. She brings a fresh perspective to the world of agriculture writing. When she's not penning compelling content, she's likely lost in the pages of a thrilling mystery or treating herself to the sinful delight of chocolate.


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