TUNIS, Tunisia, July 6, 2023/ — The African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) has restated its support for the Libyan Government’s agenda to boost food security and build resilience in the North African country.
Malinne Blomberg, the Bank’s Deputy Director General for Northern Africa, gave the assurance during a coordination meeting on the Food Security Agenda in Libya.
“Food security is a prerequisite for economic development, social stability, and the overall well-being of the population,” she said, adding that the bank was working with other development partners to ensure the strategy succeeds.
The Bank hosted the meeting to deepen dialogue with the Libyan Government on key priorities, including agriculture. It formed part of the bank’s engagements in response to global challenges and building on the outcomes of the January Dakar 2 Summit on Food Sovereignty and Resilience in Africa.
The Libyan delegation was headed by Dr. Mahmoud El Futaisi, Director General of the National Economic and Social Development Board, who is also responsible for preparing the national food security strategy. There were delegates from the Food and Agriculture Organization, World Food Programme, United Nations Children’s Fund, the Islamic Development Bank Group, and the World Bank.
The African Development Bank has rolled out a $1.5 billion African Emergency Food Production Facility to boost food security and nutrition. Launched in May last year, the facility is helping Africa mitigate rising food prices and inflation, worsened by climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, and Russia’s war in Ukraine. The Bank also co-organized a food summit in January in Dakar, Senegal, which produced food compacts for African countries.
Dr. El Futaisi commended the Bank’s initiatives to ensure food security across Africa amid global challenges.
“Providing food for Libyans through preparing a food security strategy is paramount to the government,“ he said, adding that despite the challenges, setting clear goals and milestones will ensure efficiency and achieve results.
The meeting discussed the complex challenges facing the formulation and implementation of food security strategies, such as climate change, water management, nutrition, and the need for inclusiveness and preparedness for emergency responses.
The Bank shared its experience of supporting other northern regional countries (Egypt and Tunisia) in preparing their compact on the wheat value chain. The international agencies also shared their experience and approach to food security.
The meeting showcased the development partners’ resolve to dovetail efforts and strengthen partnerships to ensure Libya’s first national food security strategy succeeds. To achieve this goal, participants agreed to establish a coordination working group and a technical task force to drive the strategy. This will define the way forward with a concrete action plan and measures within a defined timeline.