By THE AFRICA BAZAAR Staff Writer
The Rockefeller Foundation and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced on Monday they will jointly fund a new global climate resilience food security program, Global Resilience Partnership, with $100 million, in hope of tackling some of the often-persistent extreme climate-related stresses and shocks in communities across Africa and Asia.
Judith Rodin, President of Rockefeller Foundation, made the announcement during a Resilience and Food Security in Changing Climate panel discussion led by USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah at the U.S.-Africa Summit in Washington D.C.
Rodin said the partnership will set up a new model that is based on harnessing public-private partnerships and empowering country’s leadership to tackle and solve some of the complex and interrelated challenges of the 21st century.
The program will allow communities to better prepare for and withstand extreme situations relating to climate shocks, food insecurity, poverty, and emerge stronger from these shocks and stresses in a way that reduces chronic vulnerability and keeps them on the pathway to development.
“The Global Resilience Partnership will help communities and individuals capitalize on the resilience dividend—the difference between where a region is after a shock where resilience investments have been made, compared to where the region would be if it hadn’t invested in resilience,” said Rodin in a statement. “We can’t always prevent shocks and stresses, but we can better prepare for them.”
Rodin added that the program will focus on the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, and South and Southeast Asia, areas often persistent with and particularly susceptible to drought and flooding.
It is estimated that about twenty-three million people were affected by food insecurity in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel due to drought in 2011 and 2012, and over 400 million people are expected to be vulnerable to flooding in South and Southeast Asia by 2025.
By better aligning resources, coordinating current efforts, bringing in experts, and drawing on new tools such as predictive analytic tools that generate and offer stream of flexible data to strengthen decision making, Rodin said the program will help catalyzes innovative solutions that will help build resilience cities.
“Disasters and shocks pose an unparalleled threat to the world’s most vulnerable communities and hamstring global humanitarian response,” said Shah. “This new bold partnership will help the global community pivot from being reactive in the wake of disaster to driving evidence-based investments that enable cities, communities, and households to better manage and adapt to inevitable shocks. USAID is proud to partner with The Rockefeller Foundation in advancing this new model, harnessing public-private partnerships and empowering country leadership to end extreme poverty.”
Rodin said an essential feature of the initiative will be a competitive Resilience Challenge—a call out to the best and brightest to present bold and innovative solutions to the toughest challenges facing the three regions- which will open on September 14. The challenge will be open to non-profits, academic institutions, and the private sector, with a focus on local and regional players.
The partnership also plans to develop new financing tools – resilience impact bond and micro-lending facility – to ensure that its investments are lasting and yield a resilience dividend for all.
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