AfDB adds $1bn in loans for Africa food crisis
Tunis, May 3, 2008
The African Development Bank (AfDB), the only multilateral development body specifically devoted to Africa, will add $1 billion to its portfolio of agricultural loans to help address the food crisis in African countries, the bank said in a statement on Saturday.
Bank President Donald Kaberuka said it would also restructure some of its agriculture lending to provide a rapid disbursement facility to the tune of $250 million.
The addition of the $1 billion in funding would raise the bank's portfolio of agricultural loans to $4.8 billion, the statement said.
The statement gave no indication about the source of the additional funding. Kaberuka urged cereals exporting countries not to suspend their exports "because the practice will compromise the existence of about 150 million people in a dozen African states, especially the population of fragile countries, the sick and elderly."
The AfDB, whose shareholders include Africa's 53 nations and 24 non-African donor countries, lends commercially to Africa's richest nations and at concessionary rates to poor ones from its Development Fund, financed largely by Western donors.-Reuters