EC adopts the second implementation decision under EU "Food Facility" for Developing Countries

The European Commission has adopted a € 394 million package of projects to support agriculture and improve the food security situation in developing countries. This is the second financing decision in the framework of the € 1 billion Food Facility which was adopted at the end of last year as a response to the growing food security problems in many developing countries.

This package shows how serious Europe is to assist developing countries to get agriculture back on its feet and to help poor people to improve their food security. “In these tough global economic times, agriculture can provide good growth potentials in developing nations and be one source of their economic recovery”, highlighted Louis Michel, Commissioner responsible for Development and Humanitarian Aid. That's why Europe's support to this sector is so vital."

A second part of the overall € 394 package – amounting to € 200 million – will be channelled through non-state actors, like NGOs and private sector. In May, the Commission will officially invite them to submit funding proposals for projects. 35 developing countries are eligible for projects under this scheme.

The current financing decision by the Commission provides support of a value of € 194 million to projects and programmes in 23 developing countries: Benin, Bolivia, Burundi, Cambodia, Guatemala, Jamaica, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Laos, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Palestinian Territories, Philippines, Senegal, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Togo, Yemen and Zambia.

Five of these countries - Kenya, Burundi, Palestine, Philippines, Mozambique - are also covered under the first financial decision Funding will be channelled through International Organisations: the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Food Programme (WFP), the World Bank, UNICEF and specialised agencies like the International Bureau for Animal resources (IBAR, for livestock in Somalia) and UNRWA (in Palestinian Territories).

On March 30th, the Commission made its first financing decision in the framework of the Food Facility, for the funding of projects of a total value of € 314 million in 23 (different) developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The Commission Decision underlines the importance of the European Union as the worlds' principal partner in improving food security across the globe. The projects to be funded will impact positively on the lives of millions of the poorest people in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

EU Food Facility

On December 18th 2008, the European Parliament and the Council adopted a Regulation establishing the € 1 billion 'Food Facility', which constitutes the main EU response to the worsening global food security situation in 2007/08. This new financing decision has been approved by the European Parliament and the EU Member States.

Addressing the period in-between emergency aid and medium - to long-term development cooperation, the Food Facility will operate for a period of 3 years (2009-2011). Three types of activities will be supported:

  • Measures to improve access to agricultural inputs like fertilizers and seeds and services like vets and advisors.
  • Other small-scale measures aiming at increasing agricultural production like microcredit, rural infrastructure, training and support to professional groups in the agricultural sector.
  • Safety net measures, allowing for social transfers to vulnerable population groups, often in the form of labour-intensive public works (roads, irrigation projects etc).