The African Development Bank introduced another measure to mitigate the food crisis. “I have to be categorical, some degree of fertilizer subsidy will have to take place,” AfDB President Donald Kaberuka said. “These will have to be market-smart subsidies. They will have to be targeted. This may require public finance (and) this may require support from international institutions.” The agency aims to secure USD500 million in funding for the new facility. According to Kaberuka, fertilizer prices rose from USD245 per ton in January to USD1,100 last month. Previously, the AfDB pledged to increase its agricultural lending budget to USD4.8 billion, and set aside another USD250 million in emergency assistance.
The AfDB meanwhile rebuffed an appeal by Ivory Coast to move back to its permanent headquarters in Abidjan. The bank moved to Tunisia in the wake of a the civil war in 2003. Although it acknowledged the progress following the signing of a peace deal last year, the agency believes the time is not ripe for its return to the country. “(The AfDB) hereby extends the temporary relocation period for 12 months from 3 June 2008,” a statement read. But it intends to provide a year’s notice should it come out with a final decision on the issue to guarantee an efficient transfer of operations.
AfDB forms fertiliser fund to help fight food crisis (Reuters)
Africa Dev’t Bank says to stay in Tunisia, for now (Reuters)