On 10 March, EU development ministers unanimously approved a proposal from the European Commission on food security in developing countries and humanitarian food aid. The policy framework seeks to provide a more effective strategy for the EU to help speed up the progress towards achieving Millennium Development Goal 1: to halve the number of people in the world suffering from hunger and extreme poverty by 2015.
The Council’s strategy highlights the potential offered by poor producers and small-scale farmers to sustainably contribute to meeting future global food demands. The proposal prioritises focusing development aid on programmes that will support small-scale farmers around the world by:
- supporting agricultural research and making agricultural knowledge available to non-specialists
- making agricultural innovation tailored to the needs of the poor
- promoting agricultural training, especially for women
- assisting developing countries in addressing climate change through adaptation and mitigation measures
- increasing EU funding for programmes which address chronic, severe malnutrition
- support for national and regional policies that involve society in agriculture, rural development, food security and nutrition
- stimulating public-private partnerships to contribute to employment and income creation
- reinforcing information systems, particularly those for early warning systems
- and strengthening all levels of food security governance on the basis of the principle of the right to food.
The European Commission has been asked to propose an implementation plan for this strategy before the end of the year.