The government of Sweden said it will contribute 140 million SEK (16 million USD) for food aid to people "affected by the severe and ongoing drought in Ethiopia", Swedish Embassy in Addis Abeba said. The contribution is made through a grant to the World Food Program (WFP). "Through this contribution more than 1.5 million people in the Somali region will receive cereals, pulses and vegetable oil, helping to stabilize malnutrition rates, which have risen sharply in recent months since the drought took hold," a statement from the embassy reads, adding Sweden's contribution will also complement food distributions in other regions following the Government of Ethiopia's allocation of 4 billion birr (US$ 192 million) to relief efforts.
Since 2013, the population of the commune of Marigot (Southeast department, borough of Jacmel), supported by the organization Solidarity Union Cooperation (SUCO) and the European Union, is currently meeting the food security challenge through a project, which in addition to nutrition, aims to protect the environment and agricultural recovery. Two years after launching the project, the results are very encouraging: 18 hectares of watersheds were protected by the installation of metal structures and biological, more than 69,000 fruit and forest seedlings were planted nearly a thousand jobs were created and about 400 families became familiar with soil conservation techniques.
The European Commission has approved the cross-border cooperation programme for 2014-2020 between Mayotte, the overseas region of France and the neighboring Comoros islands, in East Africa. Le total budget of the programme amounts to just over €16million, of which €12million comes from the European Regional Development Fund. The program has three priorities: increasing trade in key sectors for the economy, such as food processing, Information Technologies and Communication and shipping, improving the state of the population’s health and rescue capabilities, as well as improving education.
EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, visited Niger to discuss the implementation of EU development cooperation to the country and announce extra support. Ahead of the mission, Commissioner Mimica said: "The EU is a major political, humanitarian and development actor in Niger. We are using all our instruments to tackle the numerous challenges that this country has to face, such as food and nutrition insecurity, youth unemployment, regional instability. The new EU Trust Fund will enable us to deliver quickly to address root causes of instability and irregular migration. Niger will be on the list of the first countries to benefit from the Trust Fund, with an initial package of €50 million."
Member of the European Parliament Louis Michel hosted a conference with the Food Bridge vzw in collaboration with the Federation of Anglophone Africans in Belgium and African Diaspora Network in Europe on ‘Food and Gender implications in global food systems’. Prof Dr Peter Scholliers, Professor of Contemporary History at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and head of the FOST (Social and Cultural Food Studies) research group gave the key note address.
The European Commission’s External Action Infopoint hosted a conference on "Improving nutritional outcomes in agriculture interventions". Agricultural interventions (from local projects to large scale policies) are usually regarded as positive or neutral toward human nutrition. The CIRAD/ACF team drew on lessons from 170 studies and identified six pathways from successful agricultural interventions to negative nutrition outcomes, and suggested recommendations to avoid them.
Ahead of the closing of the EXPO 2015 Universal Exhibition in Milan, the European Commission welcomed new independent experts' recommendations on how European research and innovation can help improve food and nutrition security around the world. The advice will ensure a strong legacy from the Commission's presence at EXPO, which has been dedicated to the theme of global food and nutrition challenges. The findings are part of a larger collection of scientific knowledge on the issue of food security and offer directions for future research and innovation actions at EU and international level.
In this Briefing from the European Parliament’s DG for External Policies, the importance of food security is outlined. Food security is a multi-layered concept covering availability, access, use and stability. It is recognized as a global public good. Moreover, to be free from hunger and malnutiriton is also recognized as a human right. Following the 2007/2008 food crisis, the international community committed to investing more in agriculture and to better government. The MDG target to halve the proportion of hungry people was nearly achieved, but 795 million people remain undernourished.
Plantwise is a global programme led by CABI, which works to help farmers lose less of what they grow to plant health problems. Working closely with national agricultural advisory services Plantwise establishes and supports sustainable networks of plant clinics, run by trained plant doctors, where farmers can find practical plant health advice. Plant clinics promote two way flows of information between farmers and plant doctors. This helps smallholder farmers improve livelihoods. Clinics also record details for the Plantwise Knowledge Bank with the aim to establish an Early Warning System.
CTA, in collaboration with IFPRI, the ACP Secretariat, the European Commission, PAFO organised a panel and launch the Sub-Saharan Africa Food Security Portal, on 16 September 2015, at the ACP Secretariat. Data has become a key asset for agricultural transformation in Africa. The availability of timely, relevant, and reliable data on the agriculture sector is necessary for effective planning, monitoring, and evaluation of agricultural and rural development policies and to increase the impact of field interventions. The Food Security Portal, facilitated by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), aims to provide improved food security for the world's poor and increased resilience of global food systems against food and financial crises. For all the resources, go to brusselsbriefings.net