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Wednesday, 28 March 2012

EU food security interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa need improvement

Around one billion people suffer from hunger in the world. More particularly, in Sub-Saharan Africa, some 30 % of the total population faces food insecurity. According to the European Commission (EC) Press service, the EU funded a total of over €3,1 Billion for food security interventions in sub-Saharan Africa for the period 2002 – 2010.  This amount has been allocated through the European Development Fund (EDF), as well as three thematic instruments financed through the general budget of the European Union, namely the Food Security Budget Line (FSBL), the Food Security Thematic Programme (FSTP) and the Food Facility. Now, the European Court of Auditors asses whether EU development aid for food security in the region is effective. The audit focuses on EU direct development support for the three dimensions of food security, namely, food availability, access to food and food utilisation (nutrition).The Court concludes that EU development aid for food security in sub-Saharan Africa is mostly effective and makes an important contribution to achieving food security. However, it stresses several areas to be further improved.
For example, the Court of Auditors says that while EU aid properly addresses countries’ needs and priorities as regards food availability and access to food, the EC did not focus enough on nutrition. Speaking of the Food Facility instrument, the Court says this was not designed to address long term food price volatility. It also critisises the lack of realistic objectives of some NGOs projects.
Among recommendations, the Court suggests the EC to ensure that the objectives are achievable by better assessing the risks and assumptions concerning the successful implementation of interventions. Moreover,  both the EC and  EEAS should give adequate priority to nutrition when defining the cooperation strategy, identifying and designing interventions, and using policy dialogue with partner governments.

Source: European Commission