The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has allocated $4.1 million in technical assistance to help agri-food value chains and rural economies in Asia and the Pacific recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Green and Resilient Rural Recovery through Agri-Food System Transformation in the Asia and Pacific Region programme will assess the impacts of Covid-19 on the region's food and nutrition security and rural livelihood, said a press release.
It will also help developing member countries (DMCs) transform investments toward a green, resilient, and inclusive recovery from Covid-19, which has exacerbated rural poverty and food and nutrition insecurity, particularly among women and the vulnerable.
"Our food systems, nature, and climate are inextricably linked," said ADB Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development Bambang Susantono.
"As ADB looks to achieve its climate ambition and scale up nature capital investment, food system transformation has become a pressing priority," Susantono added.
The technical assistance will help develop the concept of a three-pillared Innovative Natural Capital Financing Facility (INCFF) consisting of a regional Natural Capital Lab, a Natural Capital Fund, and a Digital Marketplace Platform. The INCFF will catalyse climate-positive adaptation and mitigation investments and reduce the erosion of biodiversity while protecting rural livelihoods, the press release added.
The programme will help DMCs support risk and vulnerability assessments to understand the impact of the pandemic on key agribusiness value chains and the development of appropriate policy and investment responses.
Funds will be deployed to test climate-smart agriculture interventions and build new approaches to developing sustainable and inclusive agribusiness value chains.
ADB expects to implement technical assistance with partners from academia, multilateral, and bilateral agencies, as well as DMCs.
Funding for the assistance comes from the ADB's Technical Assistance Special Fund ($1.5 million), the Climate Change Fund ($750,000), Regional Cooperation and Integration Fund ($500,000), Strategic Climate Fund ($550,000), and the People's Republic of China Poverty Reduction and Regional Cooperation Fund ($800,000), the press release further said.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.