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Cambridge Global Food Security

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New EU – FAO partnership for food and nutrition security

last modified Aug 13, 2015 11:54 AM
It was announced yesterday (15th July, 2015), during the 3rd International Conference on Funding for Development in Ethiopia, that a new initiative to tackle food insecurity has been agreed between the EU and the FAO. The new initiative will be ‘country led and demand driven’, and is funded by a contribution of €50 million from the EU, and €23.5 million from the FAO.

by Joanna Wolstenholme, Communications intern

According to the FAO, the initiative consists of two programs:

  • The Food and Nutrition Security Impact, Resilience, Sustainability and Transformation (FIRST) - which ‘will enhance the capacities of governments and regional administrations to improve food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture policies and better implement them … by providing policy assistance and capacity development support.’
  • The Information for Nutrition Food Security and Resilience for Decision Making (INFORMED)  - which ‘will contribute to strengthening resilience to withstand food crises as a result of human-induced and natural disasters [and provide] regular, timely and evidence-based information to decision-makers .’

The Director General of the FAO, Graziano da Silva, who helped secure the deal, said "This newest phase in our partnership with the European Union will greatly reinforce FAO's ability to engage with governments to help them acquire the data and information they need to develop and implement effective policies aimed at tackling hunger's root causes and building resilience to shocks and crises.”

New investment into the issue of food security is certainly welcome, as around 800 million people in the world still go hungry and millions more do not have access to healthy diets. This has been compounded in recent years by an increase in the number of people that have been affected by food crises, often resulting from conflicts, natural disasters, or climate change, all of which contribute to food price volatility.

A recent report by FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that eradicating world hunger by 2030 will require an estimated additional $267 billion a year in investments in rural and urban areas and in social protection. This new initiative should go some way towards meeting this target.