April the 29th the European Commission adopted a € 394 million package of projects to support agriculture and improve the food security situation in 23 developing countries – among them Cambodia, Laos and Indonesia. 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 – including Cambodia, Laos and The Philippines.
Louis Michel, Commissioner responsible for Development and Humanitarian Aid, said: “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. That’s why Europe’s support to this sector is so vital.”
On 18 December 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. The financing decision has now been approved by the European Parliament and the EU Member States.
The 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).
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.