Amsterdam, 16 November 2020. The Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) holds the 2020 Meeting with International Commodity Bodies (ICBs) virtually
The CFC hosted the 2020 meeting with the ICBs using teleconference facilities for the first time.
On 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.
Ambassador Sheikh Mohammed Belal, Managing Director of the CFC, welcomed all representatives from the ICBs and acknowledged the presence of representatives from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Also, he emphasised the continuous commitment of the CFC to commodity development during the ongoing pandemic by actively engaging with its borrowers to understand their challenges and further help them to navigate this moment of crisis.
Ambassador Belal invited all ICBs to share their experience on tackling the challenges imposed by the pandemic, and to explore how the CFC and ICBs could further collaborate to support the commodity producers to relieve them from the pandemic and to build their resilience in a post pandemic world for an eventual green recovery.
The Agenda consisted of the following elements:
- The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the needs of commodity dependent people and the impact and risks in commodity development projects;
- Creating new financial instruments to mobilize financing for the work of CFC and ICBs;
- Coordinating the communication strategies of CFC and the ICBs;
- Drawing global attention on how trade in commodities is better served through regional connectivity in a post-pandemic world.
Ambassador Belal highlighted the CFC’s focus on international projects, which allows for activities centring on the weakest links in global commodity value chains. He also praised the long relationship of collaboration among the CFC and the ICBs in development projects in the interests of the Commodity Dependent Developing Countries for the benefit of both consumers and producers. All participants were eventually thanked for their involvement with the CFC and their efforts to contribute to a sustainable world.
The ICBs were provided with an update as to what CFC have been doing even at this challenging time of the pandemic. CFC shared with the ICBs that to counter the struggles exporters and small-scale farmers/producers face due to COVID-19, the CFC has provided support under multiple forms. First, the Emergency Liquidity Facility of up to USD Two Million was approved by the CFC’s Executive Board to support projects impacted by the pandemic. Second, more flexibility for the Managing Director to amend repayment schedules of CFC loans in compelling cases, which allows the CFC to quickly accommodate the short-term needs of certain projects. Thus, a lesson of the COVID-19 is that poverty should be addressed globally.
All attending ICBs expressed their resolve to work together in the days ahead for a recovery and eventual solidifying of resilience in our clients.
CFC was pleased to receive a host of innovative suggestions also from attending delegates of UNCTAD and FAO. The CFC and ICBs also agreed and approved a communication strategy to speak with a coherent voice on the role of commodities in sustainable development, and to turn this complexity into more effective modalities for social impact wherever we work. All delegates reiterated the centrality of the United Nation led multilateral system for a harmonious globalised world for an expedited green recovery.