The European Union and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation on Wednesday reaffirmed their pledge to tackle common global concerns such as rising hunger, foster prosperity and peace and build a more sustainable future for all, FAO said in a statement.
Over the next two years, EU and FAO will focus on strengthening communities' resilience to food crises; addressing climate change and better use of natural resources; investing in agriculture and value chains; and improving nutrition and food systems, the statement said.
"The EU's ongoing support for multilateralism and the United Nations system is as essential to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as it is to addressing the immense challenges that forced migration, conflict and food crises continue to pose today," said FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva.
"By working together and merging our expertise, I am convinced that we can rise to many of today's most pressing challenges," added da Silva.
EU channeled more than 1.5 billion euros to over 250 FAO-led programmes in 60 countries between 2007 and 2017, scaling up its support after the 2007-2008 food price crisis, and again last year, to fight hunger and address agricultural development issues linked to conflict, migration, environment and climate change challenges.
"I am extremely proud of what the European Union and FAO have achieved together. Over the years, we have built a solid, strategic partnership with a focus on areas that are high on the EU policy agenda," European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica.
"We remain acutely aware that food security and sustainable agriculture remain pressing challenges," Mimica added.
To this end, the European Union and FAO signed a 77 million euro agreement at the UN General Assembly last month to boost the resilience of millions of people hit by food crises around the world, he said.
EU-FAO cooperation spans a range of areas - from food safety and security, sustainable agriculture, and disease and pest control, to land tenure, soil management, and the fight against illegal fisheries, desertification and deforestation.
The partnership has been an important agent of change for the benefit of millions of people in developing, emerging, and developed countries, including in the EU, and has been growing over the last 10 years. FAO stated.
Over 80 percent of the EU's support to FAO has come from the European Commission's International Cooperation and Development department, with further contributions from the European Commission's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department and through other EU departments focused on agriculture, fisheries, food safety, plant protection, soils and research.
The EU remains FAO's main resource partner, representing with its Member States 45 percent of the UN agency's budget - a contribution that reached 239 million euros in 2017, the FAO statement sad.
Between 2014 and 2017, almost half of the contributions were rolled out in Africa, with initiatives also across Europe, Latin America, the Near East and Asia, the statement said.