KIGALI - The head of USAID, Dr. Rajiv Shah, has praised Rwanda for its efforts and strategy to deal with food security.
Shah made the remarks while addressing the Global Agriculture and Food Security Symposium in Washington DC, which was organized by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, in partnership with several policy and advocacy organizations.
“We know even the most expert donor work is limited in its ability to create transformative impact. Country-led efforts are the only way to amplify the impact of donor projects and reach real scale,” he is quoted in a statement released after the meet.
“In Rwanda, they recognized they needed a comprehensive approach to agriculture, so they assembled key stakeholders, developed a plan and completed a thorough technical review just this December.”
He said that as of April 15, Rwanda’s $848 million proposal is substantially funded, with $275 million in assistance from international partners.
“I don’t think it’s a mere coincidence that since 2006, when this planning process began in Rwanda, that they’ve experienced real increases in agricultural sector growth, real increases in agricultural total production and a nearly 50 percent increase in domestic investment in the agriculture sector,” he said.
At the 2009 G-8 Summit in L’Aquila in Italy, U.S President Barack Obama pledged at least $3.5 billion for agricultural development and food security over three years.
According to the statement, this commitment helped leverage more than $18.5 billion from other donors in support of a common approach to achieve sustainable food security and laid the groundwork for Feed the Future.