WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Grameen Foundation was selected by The Global Resilience Partnership to implement transformative resilience solutions to problems facing smallholder coconut and cocoa farmers in Southeast Asia. A global leader in innovations to help the world's poor, Grameen Foundation was among eight global teams in the Global Resilience Challenge, a multi-stage design competition that received nearly 500 initial applications to address the most difficult resilience challenges. The foundation will now receive up to $1 million to implement its proposed solution in a way that can be scaled and adopted by others in the future.
"Coconut farmers are amongst the poorest in the agriculture sector in the Philippines, and with recent hard-hitting typhoons, their challenges keep increasing and livelihoods are being destroyed," said Gigi Gatti, Grameen Foundation's country director for the Philippines. "We are excited to be a part of The Global Resilience Partnership and to harness almost a decade of experience in mobile agriculture to create solutions that reduce vulnerabilities for the coconut and cocoa farmers and their families."
Thirty-two percent of Filipinos are directly employed in agriculture, particularly in rural areas. Grameen Foundation and its team will help farmers to improve productivity, access financial services, expand access to markets, and use early warning systems to reduce crop losses. Working with government, agribusiness, and financial services partners, the team will leverage mobile technology to provide coconut farmers with real-time data and services to help strengthen their businesses and mitigate losses to their families due to extreme weather.
"We must better align humanitarian and development investments and thereby create a resilience dividend," said Dr. Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. "The eight winners of the Global Resilience Challenge demonstrated how we can create multiple wins for individuals and communities when problems are clearly understood and when solutions respond not only today's realities, but build in flexibility to manage tomorrow's unknowns."
"In order to achieve our 2030 Global Goals, we must build resilient societies that can mitigate the impacts of climate change, and other inevitable challenges that threaten to erode development gains," said Thomas Staal, Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator of USAID. "These eight winners will bring us closer to achieving these goals by empowering the poorest communities on earth with the resources, tools and know-how to mitigate risks and foster growth."
"These teams are looking at interconnected challenges--from water conservation to food security to climate change--and identifying holistic solutions that bring societies together to prepare for and overcome disruptions," said Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, Director-General of Sida. "By combining multiple sector resources and expertise with local knowledge and engagement, the ideas directly address the challenges and realities people are facing."
"We are honored to partner with Grameen Foundation for the Global Resilience Challenge. Coconuts are the heart of our business, and we want smallhold coconut farmers to achieve economic and environmental resiliency. We are also committed to improving ecologically sustainable agriculture through our 1% giving fund," said John Roulac, Founder & CEO of Nutiva.
The Challenge is the first project of the Global Resilience Partnership, a public-private initiative of The Rockefeller Foundation, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). With $160 million in contributions –including a recent $10 million commitment from Zurich Insurance Group – the Partnership is committed to fostering resilience at scale and transform humanitarian and development assistance. More information is available at www.globalresiliencepartnership.org
About Grameen Foundation Grameen Foundation is a global nonprofit organization that helps the world's poorest people achieve their full potential by providing access to essential financial services and information on health and agriculture that can transform their lives. Founded in 1997, it delivers solutions that respond to the needs of the poor, as well as tools that help poverty-focused organizations become more effective. It focuses on initiatives that can achieve widespread impact and uses an open-source approach that makes it easy for other organizations to adopt them broadly. Nobel Laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and the Grameen family of companies, is an inaugural member of its Board of Directors, and now serves as director emeritus. Grameen Foundation is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in the U.S., Asia, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean. For more information, please visit www.grameenfoundation.org or follow us on Twitter @GrameenFdn.