US pledges to boost Africa’s food security with N20bn
The Administrator of United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Ms Gayle Smith, on Monday announced the U.S. government’s provision of an additional N20 billion ($100m) to Africa’s food security programmes.
Smith, who led a U.S. delegation at the ongoing African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, disclosed this in a transcript issued by the African Media Hub of U.S Department of State.
The U.S. envoy said that the pledged assistance was an addition to the N80 billion ($400m) that her government had since October 2014 supported Africa’s food development programmes.
“We have worked very closely with the African Union on the issue of food security.
“Since October 2014, we have provided over 400 million dollars in assistance and I am pleased to announce this afternoon that we are providing an additional almost 100 million dollars in assistance.
“This is to expand the reach of food programmes again that are designed to help people who are vulnerable to get through what is going to be very intense,’’ she said.
According to her, there is currently an increase of incomes for small-holder farmers and reductions in malnutrition across the continent.
Smith said the U.S. was ready to support the AU’s call on countries to increase their investments in agriculture design and food security plans.
She also said her government was working with African countries on the “Power Africa’’ initiative with the objective to work with African partners in doubling their access to electricity supply.
Smith said the summit would afford the U.S. to focus on the violence in Burundi and South Sudan.