Brussels, 29 April 2009
Louis Michel, Commissioner responsible for Development and Humanitarian Aid, said: "This package shows how serious Europe is to assist developing countries to get agriculture back on its feet and to help poor people to improve their food security. In these tough global economic times, agriculture can provide good growth potentials in developing nations and be one source of their economic recovery. That's why Europe's support to this sector is so vital."
On 18 December 2008, the European Parliament and the Council adopted a Regulation establishing the € 1 billion 'Food Facility', which constitutes the main EU response to the worsening global food security situation in 2007/08. Today's financing decision has been approved by the European Parliament and the EU Member States.
Addressing the period in-between emergency aid and medium - to long-term development cooperation, the Food Facility will operate for a period of 3 years (2009-2011). Three types of activities will be supported:
The current financing decision by the Commission provides support of a value of € 194 million to projects and programmes in 23 developing countries: Benin, Bolivia, Burundi, Cambodia, Guatemala, Jamaica, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Laos, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Palestinian Territories, Philippines, Senegal, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Togo, Yemen and Zambia.
Five of these countries - Kenya, Burundi, Palestine, Philippines, Mozambique - are also covered under the first financial decision (link: IP/09/490 first decision) Funding will be channelled through International Organisations: the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Food Programme (WFP), the World Bank, UNICEF and specialised agencies like the International Bureau for Animal resources (IBAR, for livestock in Somalia) and UNRWA (in Palestinian Territories).
A second part of the overall € 394 package – amounting to € 200 million – will be channelled through non-state actors, like NGOs and private sector. In May, the Commission will officially invite them to submit funding proposals for projects. 35 developing countries are eligible for projects under this scheme.
On 30th March, the Commission made its first financing decision in the framework of the Food Facility, for the funding of projects of a total value of € 314 million in 23 (different) developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America (link: IP/09/490 first decision).
The Commission Decision underlines the importance of the European Union as the worlds' principal partner in improving food security across the globe. The projects to be funded will impact positively on the lives of millions of the poorest people in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
For more information:
Press Release - IP/09/490
Memo - Food Facility – Overview of Programming: MEMO/09/138