The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) launched a collective crowdfunding or micro-financing campaign entitled #IJointheIICAChallenge to promote projects aimed at strengthening food security in rural communities of Haiti and Antigua and Barbuda, which are suffering from extreme vulnerability in the face of the pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus.
The campaign, which targets people from all regions of the Americas, seeks to obtain resources that will enable the provision of basic agricultural inputs such as seeds, irrigation equipment and other supplies for thousands of people living in the communities of Codrington and Burkes Sanderson, in Antigua and Barbuda; and Ducis, Les Anglais, Camp Perrin, Bas Boen and Beaumont, in Haiti.
“I am particularly interested in obtaining financing for irrigation, because we live in an arid country and water rationing is very important, and even more so with the drought. This project would be very beneficial for us in Antigua and Barbuda”, explained Neil Gomes, a small farmer from one of the areas that would receive support from IICA.
In general, Caribbean countries are heavily dependent on imports for food supply, which they pay for with the revenue generated from the tourism industry.
Tourism has come to a halt as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has affected the food security of the region as well as the availability of agricultural labor to carry out farming activities.
This situation is further exacerbated by the high vulnerability of Haiti, Antigua and Barbuda, and practically every country in the Caribbean to the effects of climate change, including extreme weather events and drought.
”Through the #IJointheIICAChallenge campaign, we want to support the Caribbean countries in one of their most urgent and critical needs, that is, food security in rural areas. This is the first crowdfunding project for IICA, which is why we have identified regions with very specific needs for cooperation, with the goal of executing concrete actions with the resources obtained, in an attempt to benefit these specific populations”, stated Manuel Otero, Director General of IICA.
Donations for the #IJointheIICAChallenge campaign can be of any amount. The fundraising will be done through the GoFundMe platform at https://gf.me/u/yn5cg6, and can also be accessed through the IICA website, https://iica.int/en/crowdfunding.
In the United States, contributions can be made at https://www.oasfcu.org/.
On the Institute’s website, participants can find all the information pertaining to the fundraising project in Spanish, English, French and Portuguese.
The #IJointheIICAChallenge campaign will be receiving donations for a period of three months, and will provide periodic updates on the progress of the fundraiser.
Main photo: Donations of any amount will be received on the GoFundMe platform and will go to 7 rural communities in these countries to purchase seeds and basic agricultural inputs.