For every $2, a matching fund for food security

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Photo by: Center for American Progress / CC BY-ND

The United States has joined the dollar-for-dollar trend in raising funds for a cause. On Friday (Oct. 12), it pledged to match every $2 commitment from other donors with a $1 donation to a multidonor trust fund addressing food security.

The Western donor will make $475 million available for the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program through the matching initiative, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced at a side event during last week’s International Monetary Fund-World Bank annual meetings.

The program provides public and private sector financing for programs and activities designed for agricultural development and food security in 18 countries, the majority of which are located in Africa. Insufficient funding, however, has limited the program’s reach. Demand for the program’s funding has “far outstripped supply to date,” according to a news release.

Following the announcement, South Korea and Japan have each pledged $30 million to the program, while the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation laid out plans to double its commitment to the program. The foundation’s initial commitment to the GAFSP was $30 million.

Pledges from Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom in early 2012 will also be included in the U.S. initiative, according to the news release.

New fund

After Japan, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim flew to South Korea to announce the launch Monday (Oct. 15) of a new funding facility that will support economic development opportunities in developing countries.

The $90 million Korea-World Bank Partnership Facility will run for three years. But the government could extend the life of the fund in consultation with the bank following the three-year period, South Korean Finance Minister Bahk Jae-wan said, Yonhap News Agency reports.

It is not yet clear what type of projects the facility will support.

The fund was launched on the same day both parties announced the World Bank’s plans to open a new office in the country in 2013. The office will focus on projects related to infrastructure, ICT, finance and knowledge sharing, according to a press release.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.