Washington, April 22 : The World Bank, United States, Bill Gates and others Thursday launched a billion-dollar fund for small farmers in the developing world to help reduce hunger.
With more than 1 billion people left hungry, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said the global economic crisis was "only half-solved". The fund would ramp up agricultural production in poor countries and help smaller farmers access markets for their goods.
While the global economy was recovering from a deep recession, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said "a world where more than 1 billion people struggle with hunger ... is not a balanced, stable world".
The United States will add $475 million to the new fund, Canada offered $230 million, Spain $95 million and South Korea $50 million. Microsoft founder Gates' foundation was contributing $30 million.
By beefing up agriculture, it is hoped the fund will have results beyond tackling hunger. South Korean Finance Minister Yoon Jeung-Hyun said the initiative could "help developing countries get themselves out of poverty and stand on their own two feet".(DPA)