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Rome Reports

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Bill Gates partners up with UN to fight hunger

Even Bill Gates is offering his help. He traveled to Rome to the UN?s office of the International Fund for Agricultural Development known as IFAD. There, he signed a new partnership, noting that trying to save the lives of the world?s poorest means a necessary involvement in agriculture. Bill GatesFounder, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation“When Melinda and I started the foundation, we initially were focused on health but the more we learned about why kids are susceptible to disease and why they don?t fully develop mentally and physically, it became clear to us that we needed to also work in agriculture.”IFAD works not only in Africa but all over the world, especially in Latin America and Asia. They?ve said one of the reasons the world is seeing so much hunger is due to climate change. Extreme changes in weather leaves farmers wondering when to plant their crops.Josefina StubbsDirector, Latin America and Caribbean (IFAD)“The change in climatic patterns affect the production and productivity: changing rainfall patterns, changing patterns of drought, and farmers are in a lack of certainty about what the cycles are.”Organizations like IFAD and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation rely on local representatives to hear how their aid programs are received on the ground.From Honduras, Rafael Alegría explains what problems farmers are facing there.Rafael AlegríaCoordinator, CGRA (Honduras)“More than 2.5 million, according to the FAO are in extreme poverty due to the effect of climate change. Now we are living in a season of drought, which has a very negative impact on the production of basic grains.”Josefina StubbsDirector, Latin America and Caribbean (IFAD)“There is a close connection and direct link between agriculture, the environment and what the issues of climate change. At the end, the small farmers are the poorest and most vulnerable, who suffer the worst effects of climate change.”The agreement between Bill Gates and IFAD aims to invest in a digital revolution to improve many farming techniques. It?s a step toward preparing a world with an increasing demand for sources of food. AEPRAM, IFAD-