The European Commission and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have strengthened their partnership to boost the resilience of millions of people struggling with severe and often prolonged or recurrent food crises around the world. The agreement for €70 million contribution, signed by Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, and the Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, José Graziano da Silva, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York today, contributes to the Global Network against Food Crises to promote sustainable solutions to food crises.
European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said: “Last year, the Global Network against Food Crises allowed us to take concrete and concerted steps to mitigate food crises and avert famine in northern Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen. And we need to scale this up. This additional contribution of €70 million to the FAO will further bolster our partnership and speed upthe network's efforts to tackle hunger globally by strengthening links between humanitarian, development and peace actors, as recommended by UN Security Council Resolution 2417”.
The Resolution condemning the starving of civilians as a method of warfare signals a shared ambition to prevent and eradicate conflict-induced hunger.
José Graziano da Silva of the FAO commented:“The EU's contribution will help improve the way we detect, prevent and respond to food crises. It will ultimately make hunger-stricken rural communities stronger in the face of emerging food crises. Investing in resilience is key to fighting hunger today and in the future. In view of the magnitude and persistence of food crises, we need to invest more in resilience interventions and create stronger alliances withall parties – humanitarian, development and peace actors – working together to stem hunger.”
The new funding will enable the European Union, the Food and Agriculture Organisation and their partners to roll out resilience interventions wherever they are needed; to produce food security and resilience analyses to better target actions against hunger; and to strengthen coordination, policy, prevention and response mechanisms at country and global level to better tackle deepening food crises. Moreover, the agreement will complement interventions in 12 countries hit by food crises to address the root causes of hunger.
The EU contribution comes at a time when conflict and extreme climatic events are on the rise, leaving millions of people hungry and forcing a record number of people — 68 million,— to leave their land and homes. Over 120 million people in 51 countries were affected by acute food insecurity in 2017 — that's 11 million more people than the year before. Acute food insecurity means hunger so severe that it poses an immediate threat to lives or livelihoods.
The European Union, the Food and Agriculture Organisation and UN World Food Programme launched the Global Network against Food Crises at the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016. Having begun with three founding partners two years ago, the Network is expanding and aims to become the engine behind promoting closer coordination between humanitarian and development agencies and peace actors.
This agreement builds on previous successful EU-FAO partnerships and interventions, and is a testimony to the organisations' continued efforts to build resilience to food crises for all – at family, community and country level.