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Australia To Give $50m For Food Crisis Trust Fund

Australia Confirms Additional $50m For Food Crisis

The Australian Government confirms it will provide $50 million to a new World Bank trust fund to stimulate agricultural production in developing countries adversely affected by recent steep increases in food prices.

The $50m is in addition to the $30m the Australian Government contributed to the World Food Programme for emergency humanitarian food aid in May.

The World Bank is seeking $500 million for the new fund and Australia's contribution represents 10% of the World Bank's appeal target.

This additional Australian contribution responds directly to an appeal by the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, during a meeting with me at the recent UN Food and Agriculture Organization Food Security Conference in Rome.

It is critical that poor farmers in developing countries get the support they need to increase plantings. Without this support, the high costs of fuel, fertilisers and seeds will cause them to cut back on planting, exacerbating pressure on food prices.

The World Bank trust fund to stimulate agricultural production represents the next phase of assistance for developing countries adversely affected by rising food prices and forms part of a broader international community commitment to address the root causes of food insecurity through increased development assistance and continued international trade policy reform.

At the Food Security Conference last month I underlined the Australian Government's commitment to develop a comprehensive action plan to lift Australia's engagement in international community efforts to address the root causes of food insecurity.

This includes a stronger focus on rural development assistance to lift agricultural productivity in key staple crops.

Australia will also use our world class expertise in scientific agricultural research to further boost agricultural productivity.

ENDS

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