he European Commission and FAO have agreed to a new partnership to improve the ability of decision makers to target food insecure and vulnerable people and to take effective action to reduce hunger, the two organizations announced today.
The three-year, 15 million euro programme initiated by the agreement covers 20 countries across the world and aims to identify and analyze food security needs and recommend ways to reduce hunger based on the findings, the two Organizations announced today.
The countries represent three very different food insecurity situations. Some, such as Eritrea and the Democratic Republic of Congo, are in the grip of protracted crisis or conflict; others, such as Laos and Malawi, suffer chronic, structural food insecurity, while countries in the last group, such as Tajikistan and Georgia, are making the difficult transition from a centrally planned to a free market economy.
Another important dimension of the programme is that of raising public awareness and promoting dialogue on food insecurity at a global level. In this way information gathered at field level in individual countries can be used to take effective and coordinated action in the worldwide fight against hunger.
Speaking of today's agreement, Hartwig de Haen, Assistant Director-General Economic and Social Department, said: "The challenge is to develop policy recommendations and to draw strategic lessons from country experiences to better address both long- and short-term food security needs as well as enhance the resilience of traditional food systems and livelihoods."
Mr. de Haen added, "Only by working together in promoting sustainable development and targeting the immediate needs of the poor and hungry can we hope to reduce chronic hunger and undernourishment, which currently afflict more than 852 million people in the world.
"FAO is proud to be working closely with the European Commission and developing country governments. Partnerships such as this are essential to meet the World Food Summit and Millennium Development Goals of cutting hunger by half by the year 2015."
Cooperation between FAO and the European Commission dates back to 1991. It has so far resulted in the implementation of 116 projects with a total budget of approximately 108 million euros. Most of the projects have provided technical assistance to developing countries in the fields of food security, agriculture, forestry and fisheries