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EU and FAO scale up efforts to boost famine resilience with €70m donation

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EU and FAO scale up efforts to boost famine resilience with €70m donation

Photo: Albert Gonzalez Farran for The Washington Post.

The European Commission is giving 70 million euros to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation to strengthen the resilience of millions of people struggling with severe and often prolonged or recurrent food crises around the world, the EU executive and FAO said in a statement.

“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, " said FAO, Jose Graziano da Silva.

"In view of the magnitude and persistence of food crises, we need to invest more in resilience interventions and create stronger alliances with all parties – humanitarian, development and peace actors – working together to stem hunger,” he underlined.

The partnership accord was inked by Graziano da Silva and the EU's International Cooperation and Development Commissioner, Neven Mimica on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.

The accord comes on top of interventions in 12 hunger-stricken countries, is aimed at addressing the root causes of hunger and gives further impetus to the expanding Global Network against Food Crises to promote sustainable solutions to severe hunger, the joint statement 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," European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development," said Mimica.

"Our contribution of 70 million to the FAO will further bolster our partnership and speed up the 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.

Conflict and extreme climatic events are on the rise, leaving millions of people hungry and forcing a record number of people around the world - 68 million - to flee. Over 120 million people in 51 countries were affected by severe hunger last year - 11 million more people than in 2016, according to the joint statement.

The EU, FAO and UN World Food Programme (WFP) launched the Global Network against Food Crises at the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016 and it "aims to become the engine behind promoting closer coordination between humanitarian and development agencies and peace actors," said the statement.

The agreement builds on previous successful EU-FAO partnerships and interventions, and shows the two organisations’ unstinting efforts to build resilience to food crises at family, community and country level, the statement concluded.

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