Shanghai/Rome — In the first partnership of its kind, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the New Development Bank (NDB) are set to increase their joint efforts to help countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, with a special focus on safeguarding water and soil resources.
NDB President, K V Kamath, and FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, today met in Shanghai to pave the way for a formal agreement which is expected to be finalized soon. It would mark the first such cooperation between the NDB and an UN agency.
Graziano da Silva noted that it will take incremental resources of up to an estimated $265 billion a year to end by poverty and hunger by 2030 - two of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals agreed by the international community.
"In order to achieve SDGs on time - there are less than 12 years left - we need consistent, committed financing. Food and agriculture, water and sanitation, energy and transportation infrastructure can - and must - contribute enormously. This is why FAO is pleased today to join forces with the New Development Bank, so that together we can draw on our combined strengths and deliver tangible results for the countries we support," the FAO Director-General said.
NDB President K V Kamath said: "Strengthening the collaboration between the NDB and FAO is an important step towards further aligning the activities of our institutions in support of our member countries' development efforts. This partnership will leverage the development expertise of FAO as a custodian of 21 SDG indicators, within the NDB's capacity and mandate to mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in emerging and developing economies".
Through the partnership, FAO and the NBD would aim to develop and implement joint programmes and projects in food and agriculture and rural infrastructure, including in water and irrigation; sustainable land use; soil management; and, the fight against desertification.
Activities could include knowledge and experience sharing and the promotion of innovative solutions as well as joint research and technical cooperation.
The NDB, formerly referred to as the BRICS Development Bank, is a multilateral development bank established by the BRICS states - Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa - in July 2015 and fully operational since February 2016. It supports public or private projects through loans, guarantees, equity participation and other financial instruments. The bank's total assets currently amount to over $10 billion and between 2016-17 it has funded 13 projects worth a total investment value of $3.4 billion in water, energy, transport and social infrastructure sectors, with projected loans to reach USD 4 billion by end of 2018.
FAO, a technical, a specialized UN agency leads international efforts to defeat hunger, has over 194 member states, and works in over 130 countries worldwide.
FAO has agreements with 30 International Financing Institutions (IFIs) and other partners that invest in agriculture. Since 1964, the total investment carried out with FAO support is valued at over $120 billion. In the last year only it amounted to USD 6.5 billion provided by the World Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and other regional banks.