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EU € 1 billion Food Facility: already 222 projects and 50 million beneficiaries in poor countries in the fight against hunger

European Commission - IP/10/734   15/06/2010

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IP/10/734

Brussels, 15 June 2010

EU € 1 billion Food Facility: already 222 projects and 50 million beneficiaries in poor countries in the fight against hunger

With more than € 500 million already disbursed and 97 % of funds committed after only one year and a half from its adoption, the € 1 billion EU Food Facility has provided a fast and efficient response in tackling food insecurity. The Commission present today a booklet on the use of the Food Facility. It shows that around 50 million people all over the world are receiving support from the facility and results are starting to show. Faced with an impressive number of high–quality proposals but a limited budget, the European Commission is calling on other donors to help funding projects under the newly launched "Food Facility Auction Floor".

"People struggling with hunger nowadays is unacceptable. Through the EU Food Facility, Europe has been able to provide a rapid and efficient response to the food crisis faced by developing countries. The Commission delivered on its promises, ensuring a high impact of the aid offered to countries in need. We are reaching over 50 million people, including many small-holder farmers, and this will increase." said Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissioner for Development.

Following the high global food prices in 2008, the € 1 billion Food Facility was approved in December 2008 as a rapid EU reaction instrument to address food insecurity in 50 developing countries.

Concrete results on the ground

Actions on the ground started in 2009 and results are staring to show in many of the 50 target countries.

In Pakistan, farmers have been growing less over the past two years because the costs of seeds and fertilizers have shot up, while food prices also increased due to dry weather conditions. This year, farmers have managed to put a stop to the downward spiral thanks to assistance from a joint EU, WFP and FAO project under the EU Food Facility. Instead of going into debt, 23,000 Pakistan farmers received 400 kg of wheat from the WFP to last them through the lean season before harvest.

In Niger, the EU and UNICEF started a partnership in 2009 for the treatment of 65,000 severely malnourished children under-five years old in therapeutic feeding centres via the Food Facility.

In Guatemala, the Food facility allowed 14,000 smallholders farmers' families have received fertilizer.

A long lasting and efficient commitment

The European Commission has now committed 97% of the funding available under the facility and the remaining fund will be soon committed. The last Financing Decision was adopted in April 2010 for a total value of € 145.3 million.

The speed with which the Facility is being implemented has been achieved thanks to the use of existing financing channels, and the excellent cooperation with all the agencies and governments involved. The steering role of the European Commission has been a key factor for successful collaboration between the International Organisations involved, without having to create new bureaucracies or vertical trust funds.

Food Facility Auction Floor

Within the Food Facility, a Call for Proposals was launched in 2009. Due to a large number of applications the European Commission produced a booklet presenting the best 84 ready-to-go high-quality projects to facilitate matches between investors and project developers. With this auction floor, the European Commission aims to increase cost effectiveness, coherence and coordination in line with the Accra Agenda on aid effectiveness, by giving access to ready-to-fund projects.

Background

The € 1 billion EU Food Facility provides for funding to improve access to agricultural inputs; sustain safety-net programmes to the most vulnerable population and support microcredit, investment, equipment, infrastructure and training.

Most funds are channelled through the International Organisations in the UN High Level Task Force on Soaring Food Prices.

Further information on the EU Food Facility:

New booklet "The Food Facility – A rapid response from the European Union:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/infopoint/publications/europeaid/documents/184a_foodfacility_en.pdf

Video clip on the EU Food Facility:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xdlh9c_eu-food-facility-en_news

More information on EC policies and strategies on food security:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/how/finance/food-facility_en.htm

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/what/food-security/index_en.htm

http://ec.europa.eu/development/icenter/repository/COMM_PDF_COM_2010_0127_EN.PDF

Food Facility Auction Floor booklet:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/infopoint/publications/europeaid/documents/185a_foodfacility_auction_floor_en.pdf

IP on the Communication 'An EU policy framework to assist developing countries in addressing food security challenges':

IP/10/404


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