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Strategic framework for food security in developing countries

The Commission presents a new strategy to frame European Union action promoting food security in developing countries. The strategy should enable the living conditions of the population to be improved and should protect the most vulnerable from hunger. It is presented ten years after the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals.

ACT

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 31 March 2010 - An EU policy framework to assist developing countries in addressing food security challenges [COM(2010) 127 – Not published in the Official Journal].

SUMMARY

The European Union (EU) and its Member States are committed to increasing their action to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly in order to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger in developing countries.

The Commission presents a new policy framework to tackle hunger and malnutrition in the world. The development strategies must take into account new constraints, particularly those concerning population growth and the effects of climate change on agriculture.

The EU must prioritise action to support the most fragile countries, namely those which are most off-track in reaching the MDGs (in particular in Africa and in South Asia).

A multi-sectoral approach

Strategies promoting food security are based on four main pillars:

  • the availability of food products, which requires a sustainable agri-food chain, intensification of agricultural production, and the development of international trade and regional integration. Support for smallholder farmers is essential insofar as rural areas are more affected by shortages (this means supporting the management of losses, storage, land use, etc.);
  • access to food, through supporting employment, increasing income and social mechanisms for income compensation, including in times of crisis;
  • the nutritional value of food intake, particularly for pregnant and lactating women and children under five. This area of action specifically requires training and education actions, as well as greater agricultural diversification;
  • crisis prevention and management, by uniting the different humanitarian and development actors to implement the Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development (LRRD) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) strategies. The strategy must also contribute to regional integration and tackling price volatility (through production increases and stable food stocks).

Increasing action effectiveness

The Commission presents three ways to improve its cooperation actions for development:

  • supporting developing countries’ national and regional initiatives, including in the fields associated with food (land management, water, biofuels, etc.). Farmer organisations, civil society, the private sector and all interested parties should be consulted during the development of these policies;
  • harmonising EU and Member States’ interventions, by appointing a main coordinator, by adopting common instruments and by adapting the different policies involved (such as agriculture, fisheries, environment and research). This approach is based on the European Consensus on Development, the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, the Accra Agenda for Action and the EU Code of Conduct on the Division of Labour;
  • improving the coherence of the international governance system, particularly by supporting the role of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) as the global coordinating body, and by supporting greater cooperation between the UN agencies (FAO, WFP and IFAD).

Context

This Communication is complemented by the new strategy on Humanitarian Food Assistance.

Last updated: 28.05.2010
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