Climate: Bill Gates Foundation gives $1.4 billion to help small farmers

Climate: Bill Gates Foundation gives $1.4 billion to help small farmers

Major announcement made by Bill Gates on the occasion of COP 27. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will provide $1.4 billion to smallholder farmers in Africa and Asia to help them adapt to climate change, the philanthropic organization announced on Monday. This sum will be distributed over four years to promote innovations enabling them to better resist droughts, heat waves and extreme floods amplified by climate change. “Additional funding is needed to ensure that agricultural and technological innovations are widely available to vulnerable communities,” Bill Gates, billionaire co-founder of computer giant Microsoft, said in a statement.

The announcement was made on the occasion of the UN climate conference (COP) in Sharm el-Sheikh, where political leaders from around the world are marching from Monday, under pressure to strengthen their climate commitments in the face of to a warming that is racing and to provide financial support to the poor countries, which are suffering the most. Organizations representing 350 million small-scale farmers called on Monday for building a “food system that can feed the world on a warming planet” to be a “priority” for COP27. “The effects of climate change are already devastating and every time the world delays action, more people suffer and the solutions become more complex and costly,” Gates Foundation chief executive Mark Suzman said.

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Encourage new technologies

“Leaders must listen to the voice of African farmers. Governments must understand their priorities and respond urgently,” he said. The sums released by the philanthropic foundation must in particular encourage new technologies, help women or promote innovations in livestock management. A platform developed with Kenya will help farmers better anticipate climate threats, with text messages sent to their mobile phones that can help them save crops.

Experts welcomed the announcements while insisting that broader support was needed. Elizabeth Robinson, director of the Center for Climate Change Economics and Policy, welcomed an “important” announcement while saying that “the scale of the problem is such that governments, the private sector and international organizations must all increase their commitments in for food security”.

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