CFC holds 70th Meeting of Executive Board by teleconference

Amsterdam, 2 October 2020 – For the second time this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CFC had to arrange its Executive Board Meeting by teleconference, chaired by Ms. Anna Tofftén (Sweden). The meeting was well attended, including H.E. Ms. Maria Resende Encoge, Ambassador of Angola; H.E. Ms. Jaqueline Zaba/Nikiema, Ambassador of Burkina Faso; H.E. Ms. Soraya Alvarez Nuñez, Ambassador of Cuba; H.E. Mr. Million Samuel Gebre, Ambassador of Ethiopia; H.E. Mr. Eduardo Sperisen Yurt, Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Guatemala; H.E. Mr. Shujjat Ali Rathore, Ambassador of Pakistan; H.E. Mr. Kamal Bashir Ahmed, Ambassador of Sudan; and H.E. Ms. Haifa Aissami Madah, Ambassador of Venezuela. H.E. Mr. Mario Oyarzábal (Argentina) attended the meeting as Acting Chairperson of CFC’s Governing Council for 2020, and Mr. Wilson Andrade (Brazil) attended as Chairperson of the Consultative Committee (CC). Mr. Rodrigo Carcamo representing UNCTAD was also attending as Observer.

MISSION

To contribute to poverty alleviation by strengthening the income-generating capacity of commodity producers and mitigating vulnerability to their economic well being.

VISION

To strengthen and diversify the commodity sector in developing countries and transform it to be a major contributor to poverty alleviation and sustained economic growth and development.

In his opening remarks, Managing Director Sheikh Mohammed Belal addressed the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose to the commodity producers. As this has hampered trade, transport and distribution, Ambassador Belal highlighted the necessity to join efforts into supporting the most affected countries. It was noted that Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) remain in a vulnerable position and may suffer the worst impact from the effects from the pandemic.

The Executive Board discussed five project proposals that were submitted through the 16th Call for Proposals and recommended by the Consultative Committee. After careful consideration, all five projects were approved by the Board to receive CFC finance. The total cost of projects approved equals USD 17 million, of which the CFC contributes USD 7,4 million, in form of loans.

These projects, based in Bangladesh (LDC), Benin (LDC), Burundi (LDC), Colombia and Kenya, cover commodities such as cocoa, jute and fruits. Moreover, they strive to achieve SDG 1 (No Poverty), SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities).

Overall, these projects combined are expected to reach almost 10,000 smallholder farmers, create 500 permanent jobs, of which 350 will be for women, and cultivate 9,000 ha of additional land.

During the meeting, both national and international efforts to combat COVID-19 were praised, demonstrating the power of collaboration and solidarity in exceptional times. In this regard, the creation of CFC’s Emergency Liquidity Facility (ELF) was highlighted. The ELF, approved by the Executive Board in June of this year, offers additional support to the CFC projects that have been impacted by the pandemic, providing immediate working capital to qualifying SMEs who are at risk of terminating their operations. With the ELF, the CFC aims to give healthy businesses access to short-term liquidity to help them endure the immediate effects of the crisis.

The Executive Board also listened to Mr. Nadhiro (Rwanda), Chairperson of the Open ended working Group who delivered his interim report on the activities on the formation of the Sustainable Fund Management. Mr Nadhiro while apprising the EB on the activities of the open ended working group, proposed to the EB to bring this to the attention of the Governing Council in December next. The Chair encouraged the Member States to take active part in this effort to strengthen the public private partnership in the work of the CFC and enhance its capacity to deliver on the expectations of Members.

As the CFC celebrated its 31st anniversary on September 15, its role in poverty alleviation was recognized, thus addressing the necessity to continue concentrating efforts in order to make a difference.

Press Release

17th Open Call for Proposals

Common Fund for Commodities inviting applications for support of Commodity development activities is now closed.

You can still access all the information relating to the submission process in this Call for Proposals but we are no longer able to accept new proposals.

The 18th Call for Proposals shall be notified shortly. Read more

CFC Response to COVID 19 pandemic – update 16 October 2020

What is Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) doing about the coronavirus outbreak?

Responding to the ongoing pandemic of Coronavirus, COVID-19, the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) has adopted several measures based on most recent guidelines announced by the Government of the Netherlands on 13 October 2020. At the same time the CFC endeavors to keep up to date with all of the changing guidelines globally, with a specific focus in its Member Countries. When the World Health Organization categorized the spread of the virus as a pandemic, it became incumbent on all of us to be innovative in adopting appropriate measures.

These measures pertain to contingency staffing, working from home and quickly adapting to virtual meetings etc. However, the CFC as an organization that is devoted to the socioeconomic development of commodity producers, remains acutely aware of its enhanced duties at this time of pandemic. We are focusing on providing all necessary support to our projects partners assisting them to remain on course during this challenging time. The CFC is working hard to remain in contact with the project implementing authorities, providing support to minimize the impact of COVID-19, whenever possible.

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Internally, staff are advised to observe all COVID-19 related protocols such as social distancing, washing hands regularly, working from home as much as possible and staying at home when unwell. The CFC has implemented these measures to minimize the risks of transmission of this virus and to offer staff a safe working environment should they choose to work from the office. All reasonable measures are taken to protect CFC staff and its clients, while minimizing the impact of the outbreak on the implementation of the CFC’s activities in 2020 and beyond. We currently operate at full capacity with most work being done from home in the virtual “cloud office” of the CFC.

The CFC Member States were duly informed and updated about these measures during 70th Executive Board Meeting which was held, virtually, on 1 October 2020.

In the meantime, the CFC would like to highlight the essential nature of enhanced global cooperation to keep commodity supply chains as minimally impacted as possible, which is at the center of the CFC’s mission as an UN affiliated International Financial Organization.

On 23 June 2020, the Executive Board of the CFC approved the establishment of the Emergency Liquidity Facility under the authority of the Managing Director which will assist qualifying companies to cover the need for additional working capital caused by the pandemic.

The CFC will continue its quest to keep itself in a state of readiness so that resiliency in the supply chain continues when lockdown restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 begin to ease. We will have to work in unity and with solidarity with all our partners and peers to emerge with as few disruptions as possible, while taking note of the positive silver linings, such as increased network preparedness and the increased familiarity with online business connectivity between the developing and developed world and to tweak, where appropriate, our work in the future.

Please write to us at   covid19-response@common-fund.org   if you have any comment/suggestion/idea to share.

CFC’s COVID-19 situation briefing      United Nations Update COVID-19      Global Trade Helpdesk COVID-19

Our Mission

Making commodities work for everyone

The Common Fund’s mandate is to enhance the socioeconomic development of commodity producers and contribute to the development of society as a whole. In line with its market-oriented approach, the Fund concentrates on commodity development projects financed from its resources.

These resources consist of voluntary contributions, capital subscriptions by Member Countries transferred to the Second Account and interest earned. In partnership with other development institutions, the private sector and civil society, the Fund endeavours to achieve overall efficiency in and impact on commodity development.

UPCOMING EVENT
32nd Annual Meeting of the Governing Council

8 to 9 December 2020

All events

Our Projects

In the least developed countries people heavily depent on commodities for their livelihood. Thus, commodities form the backbone of economies and they account for the bulk of the export earnings of countries.

CFC is proud to play a catalytic role in promoting and supporting poverty alleviation through commodity- focused development.

News

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Amsterdam, 16 November 2020.The CFC hosted the 2020 meeting with International Commodity Bodies (ICBs) virtually. CFC and ICBs are like twins in their quest to unwrap and eventually remove chafs of poverty from around the commodities. The framers of CFC conceived this fund with ICBs as its stakeholder by default.

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CFC joins the Eleventh Inter-Agency Consultative Group Meeting on the Follow-up and Implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action (VPoA) for LLDCs

New York, 12 November 2020. CFC joins the Eleventh Inter-Agency Consultative Group Meeting on the Follow-up and Implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action (VPoA) for LLDCs.

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CFC participates on impact performance study from the GIIN

The CFC was included in the recently published study “Understanding Impact Performance: Agriculture”, by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN). Besides sharing the experience of the Fund in managing its impact, the CFC was featured in a spotlight case of the study on “Integrating value chains in the face of impact risk”. Two projects supported by the CFC, Coopac and Olivado, were presented, showing how the CFC has engaged with these organizations to overcome challenges and optimize their impact. Have a look on the spotlight case on page 25 of the report.

READ MORE +