Luxembourg, 28 March 2012
ECA Special Report on effectiveness of European Union development aid for food security in sub-Saharan Africa
Food security has long been, and still is, a global problem with an estimated one billion people in the world suffering from hunger. It has been defined as a condition where “all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”. Food security is a major problem in sub-Saharan Africa, where the number of people suffering from hunger was reaching 239 million in 2010, i.e. 30 % of the total population.
For the period 2002 – 2010, the EU has funded a total of over 3,1 Billion Euro for food security interventions in sub-Saharan Africa through the European Development Fund (EDF), which is the prime framework for cooperation with individual sub-Saharan countries, as well as three thematic instruments financed through the general budget of the European Union (the Food Security Budget Line (FSBL), the Food Security Thematic Programme (FSTP) and the Food Facility which was established in 2008 to provide a rapid response to the crisis caused by volatile food prices in developing countries).
The European Court of Auditors has assessed whether EU development aid for food security in sub-Saharan Africa is effective by analysing whether EU development aid for food security is relevant to the countries’ needs and priorities and whether EU interventions are effective. The audit focused on EU direct development support for the three dimensions of food security, i.e. food availability, access to food and food utilisation (nutrition).
The Court concludes that EU development aid for food security in sub-Saharan Africa is mostly effective and makes an important contribution to achieving food security. However, there is scope for significant improvement in several areas:
The Court recommends: