Despite promising aid, governments are failing to provide women farmers with the relevant and appropriate support needed to farm and adapt to climate change according to a new Oxfam report released for World Food Day.
The new findings show that six countries, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Pakistan and the Philippines, provide too little funding to support small-scale farmers, especially women, to adapt and build resilience to climate change effects.
“Despite the promises made on the international scale, little to no action has been taken to ensure women farmers have the resources they need to improve their livelihoods,” said Eric Munoz, Oxfam America’s Senior Agriculture Policy Advisor.
The report shows that globally, governments are especially not following through on climate adaptation funding. As of last year, multilateral adaptation funding for small-scale farmers totaled just $345 million, far short of the billions that estimates show developing countries will need.
Women farmers make up on average 43 percent of this agricultural labor in developing countries, and are even the majority in some countries. However, they produce 20–30 percent less than men farmers because they often face barriers to accessing farm inputs, markets, technical assistance, extension services and finances. Equalizing this gap could boost agricultural output and decrease global undernourishment by up to 17 percent.
At a time when hunger is sharply increasing with one declared famine and three on the brink, the President Trump’s Administration continues to threaten to defund foreign aid programs that fight anti-hunger and improve agriculture resources to those on the frontlines.
“Our world is facing a huge crisis as we continue to experience fierce droughts and floods along with income inequality and violent conflicts,” said Munoz. “The world’s most vulnerable rely on foreign assistance for better livelihoods and slashing any funding signals that the US is willing to risk the lives of millions around the world who deal with the worst effects of climate change.”