KHARTOUM - The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) is to increase funding for agriculture projects to help governments stave off future food price crises and droughts, the bankâ€™s director general said.
Abdelaziz Khelef told Reuters the bank would increase total commitments to $1b under a new 2010-2014 five-year plan, a $100m increase from the previous plan.
A quarter of that money would now go to agricultural and food security projects, up from less than 20% in the last five-year period, he added.
BADEA was set up by countries in the Arab League to make grants and soft loans to development projects in sub-Saharan Africa. Sudan and other North African League members do not benefit.
â€œMost African countries are facing a very difficult situation in terms of food security.
â€œAnd many African countries shifted their priorities towards food security,â€ Khelef said in an interview in the bankâ€™s Khartoum headquarters yesterday.
â€œWe go with the priorities of African countries. We try to really help them implement their plans.â€
Khelef said the bank would be interested in supporting irrigation schemes and building rural food marketplaces.
Arab bank increases African agric funding