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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 17 December 2012

150 million people benefitted from EU Food Facility, new report shows

A new report on the EU's Food Facility, set up in 2008 to counter the negative effects of the food crisis, show that in three years, the EU has improved the lives of over 59 million people in 49 countries, and provided indirect support for 93 million others (by for instance enabling people to benefit from increased opportunities for trade in the area, and to learn improved skills from neighbouring farmers).

The evaluation report, unveiled today by Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, also shows that the €1 billion facility has led to the vaccination of over 44.6 million livestock, and helped to train 1.5 million people in agricultural production.

Welcoming the report, Commissioner Piebalgs said: 'Figures like this speak for themselves and today, I am very proud to be able to announce just what an incredible difference our Food Facility has made to the lives of millions of people in just three years. Only a donor the size of the EU would be able to achieve something on this scale, and the results of this project show that the we continue to be uniquely placed to provide a rapid, strategic and far reaching response on the ground when it is most needed.'

The Food Facility, which finished at the end of 2011, was designed to bridge the gap between emergency humanitarian aid and longer term development. The project aimed to increase agricultural production in 49 of the world's poorest countries by encouraging producers to increase supply, helping them to deal with the impact of volatile food prices on local communities and increasing farmers' ability to produce food, as well as improve the way that agriculture is managed.

Two thirds of the 232 projects which received funding from the Food Facility were based on agricultural production or providing access to agricultural materials (like seeds and fertiliser). Statistics show that projects involved have seen an average 50% increase in production

Nutrition and safety net measures have also been important elements in these projects, making up 35% of them. Some €138 million for safety net measures helped the most vulnerable people, especially women and children. Examples include a programme in Ethiopia where transfers in the form of food or cash have been provided to the most vulnerable households in return for participation in public works.

In Sierra Leone, thanks to the programme 8,463 tons, or 530 trucks, of food and nutritional components under Food for Work and €644,134 under Cash for Work were distributed to the poor.in the Horn of Africa and in particular Kenya, where innovative livestock insurance provided pay-outs to hundreds of herders in North Arid and Semi-Arid Land districts in view of the prevailing drought conditions in their area.

The Facility also provided other methods of boosting small-scale production based on countries’ individual needs, such as microcredit, investment, equipment, infrastructure and storage, as well as vocational training and support for agricultural professionals.

Background

The EU Food Facility was set up in 2008 in order to provide a rapid EU response to soaring food prices in developing countries, and was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in December 2008. The instrument provided for €1 billion funding, to be spent over three years (nearly half of which was spent in 2009).

60% of Food Facility funds were channelled through UN agencies, while 20% went through NGOs and Member States Agencies, 12% via Budget Support and 6% through Regional Organisations. 425 Non-State Actors, or NGOs, helped to implement the projects – mainly in the countryside or hard to reach areas, contributing with 20% of the funding allocated for the Calls for Proposals.

For more information

Website of EuropeAid Development and Cooperation DG:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/index_en.htm

Food Facility:

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

Link to the Final Food Facility report:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/what/development-policies/intervention-areas/ruraldev/food_intro_en.htm

Video on EU Food Facility:

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

Contacts :

Catherine Ray (+32 2 296 99 21)

Wojtek Talko (+32 2 297 85 51)


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