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Food security: EU supports G8 initiative for a "New Alliance" with partner countries, donors and the private sector

Commission Européenne - IP/12/490   18/05/2012

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European Commission - Press release

Food security: EU supports G8 initiative for a "New Alliance" with partner countries, donors and the private sector

Brussels, 18 May 2012 - The European Commission welcomes the "New Alliance to improve Food and nutrition security" launched today, on the eve of the G8 Summit. The EU has been an active partner in the preparation of the "New Alliance" which aims at boosting productivity, domestic and international private sector investments and supporting innovation and technology in Africa.

It will support it as part of its action to tackle hunger and poverty, food security, nutrition and agricultural development. The "New Alliance" gathers together donors, partner countries and the private sector in a joint effort to lift 50 million people out of poverty in the next ten years. The meeting also took stock of achievements since the G8 Summit in L'Aquila in 2009, where the European Commission improved on its pledge of €3.8 bn by delivering it sooner than originally forecast – over two instead of three years.

The EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva and EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said: "The European Union is at the forefront of the fight against hunger, as demonstrated by our speedy delivery on the commitments we made at the l'Aquila G8 Summit in 2009. During the food crises which hit the Horn of Africa and the Sahel the EU has provided substantial and swift support to help the worst affected people. Since then we have launched initiatives to assist the affected countries to prepare better for disasters and make them more resilient. We are confident that, by making donors and the private sector work together, we can help tackle the root causes of hunger and eradicate hunger. The EU will actively support the New Alliance and ensure that all new initiatives benefit primarily small farmers and women."

The New Alliance will promote private sector investments in agriculture by improving the business environment and explore ways to reduce risk through providing better legal and administrative conditions for investors.

The European Commission welcomes the fact that it also includes support of the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on Land Tenure (VGLT) which was endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security on 11th May, as well as the Principles of Responsible Investment (PRAI) in developing countries. The EU intends supporting actions in the area of risk management and agricultural research, such as improved soil and pest management, better seed varieties and nutrition.

Food security and agriculture have been identified as priority sectors for EU aid in the EU new development policy "Agenda for Change". It also recognises the key role of the private sector. The EU therefore welcomes the focus of this year's summit in involving private sector actors.

Background

The European Union has played a leading role in tackling hunger and malnutrition for many years. The EU is the world's largest grant donor to food security. In the face of the 2007/08 food price crisis, the EU was the first donor to proactively design a specific instrument (the Food Facility) to help countries cope with worsening food insecurity caused by volatile food prices.

In 2009 at L’Aquila all countries represented committed to mobilize $22 billion (€ 14.3 billion) over three years in response to soaring food prices. They agreed on a coordinated and comprehensive strategy focusing on sustainable agriculture development, while staying committed to ensuring adequate emergency food aid assistance.

On top of the EU's €1 billion Food Facility, the Commission pledged, on behalf of the EU, a further €2.7 billion at L'Aquila in order to contribute to global food security in 2010-2012. In the past two years alone the Commission has committed nearly €3 billion, living up to the pledge it made to support agriculture and food security. With one year left of its pledging period, and having already fulfilled its L'Aquila commitment, the EU's commitments to global food security do not end here.

Agriculture, food security and nutrition are high on the EU's long-term development cooperation agenda and are an important aspect of the dialogue with partner governments. They are expected to feature prominently in the next programming phase which will cover EU development assistance during 2014-2020.

More information

See also:

IP/12/480 - The European Union at the G8 summit in Camp David (U.S.) on 18-19 May 2012: "Acting together"

MEMO/12/357 - The European Union at the G8 summit in Camp David (U.S.): Questions and Answers

Website of DG Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid

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

Website of the EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/piebalgs/index_en.htm

Agenda for Change

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/news/agenda_for_change_en.htm

Contacts :

Catherine Ray (+32 2 296 99 21)

Wojtek Talko (+32 2 297 85 51)


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