Gates Foundation, Qatar Fund pledge $200M to help African farmers battle climate change

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March 27 (UPI) — The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said Sunday it had partnered with the Qatar Fund for Development to pledge up to $200 million to help African farmers battle climate change.

The partnership was announced at the 2022 Doha Forum in Qatar, where world leaders are discussing topics like energy, global economic challenges and international relations, the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

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The Qatar Fund is a public institution to implement foreign aid projects and was formed in 2012 by the Arab nation, which is hosting the diplomatic conference.

The Gates Foundation said in a news release that the partnership, called Nanmo, will provide economic development projects to support “smallholder farmers on drylands on the African continent” who are “are bearing the brunt of the effects of climate change.”

“Hundreds of millions of smallholder farmers, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, are already seeing their livelihoods threatened by higher temperatures and changing weather patterns,” Bill Gates said in a statement.

“We’re building on our longstanding collaboration with QFFD to help these farmers adapt. Together, we can prevent millions of people from falling into poverty and hunger due to climate change and increase agricultural yields to jumpstart equitable economic growth where it’s most needed.”

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The organization said that one of the first projects Nanmo will fund will be to work with the World Poultry Foundation to provide chickens for egg and meat production to low-income women farmers in Africa.

Melinda French Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation with her ex-husband, said in a statement that the partnership will also help combat poverty.

“A thriving agriculture sector generates economic growth, but that growth doesn’t automatically benefit everyone equally,” she said. “Nanmo isn’t just about protecting agriculture against climate change. It’s also about making sure that smallholder farmers, including millions of women, can lift themselves out of poverty and invest in a better future for their families and their communities.”

During the Doha Forum on Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a surprise video appearance to call on countries to hike their energy production so Russia could not use its oil and gas wealth for global “blackmail.”