VIENNA — The Arab Coordination Group (ACG) is taking action in response to the global food supply crisis. As a first step, the group is providing an initial $10 billion for immediate relief and long-term support. According to the latest estimates by the United Nations, about 49 million people worldwide are at risk of falling into famine conditions in the months ahead.
Speaking after hosting a meeting of the ACG Heads of Institutions in Vienna Monday, OPEC Fund Director-General Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, said: “With this bold initiative we are taking quick, decisive and forceful action.
“Millions of people are facing hunger today, and this is something we simply must address urgently. As a dedicated ACG member the OPEC Fund fully stands by this commitment.”
The amount of a minimum $10 billion represents the total of the ACG members’ commitments.
Among those, the OPEC Fund already announced a $1 billion “Food Security Action Plan” to be deployed over the next three years as immediate assistance to cover the import costs of basic commodities such as seeds, grains and fertilizers, while supporting medium and long-term security of food supply in partner countries.
The Arab Coordination Group comprises 10 national, regional, and international institutions amongst them being, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the Arab Gulf Program for Development, the Arab Monetary Fund.
It also includes the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) which is the AAA-rated multilateral development bank (MDB) of the Global South, the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, the OPEC Fund for International Development, the Qatar Fund for Development and the Saudi Fund for Development.
The group coordinates actions, co-finances projects and in many cases pools resources towards key initiatives with the goal of providing effective and impactful development support through projects and specific programs.
Addressing the climate crisis, the group also agreed to provide financing to mitigate the impact of climate change and strengthen climate resilience.
The Group will launch a detailed action plan at the next UN Climate Conference COP27 in November in Egypt. The initiative will include a collective financial commitment and a roadmap to accelerate energy transition, increase climate resilience and promote energy security.
In a joint communiqué, ACG members expressed “grave concern” about the current global crisis in food and energy security, exacerbating the already challenging global economic situation following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Group reaffirmed its intention to “act with urgency, at scale, and in coordination to respond to the global crisis and its cross-cutting challenges affecting or threatening to affect the livelihoods of millions of people around the world” and to “design joint interventions to combat the crisis through utilization of allocated resources, including joint and parallel co-financing”. — SPA