In a world where 3 million children die from starvation annually and millions of people go to bed hungry every day, we should draw special attention and focus our efforts on food security. With food prices that have remained high since the 2008 food crisis, and an increasing number of natural disasters that further erode the coping capacity of the most vulnerable, food and nutrition security has become an increasing challenge.
The projects financed by the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Department are tailored to the needs of the most hungry and vulnerable, saving and preserving lives and protecting livelihoods. However, we are also striving with our development partners for an early and proper linkage between emergency activities addressing food insecurity and more long-term soultions fostering food security. It is imperative to work together and strengthen the resilience of the most vulnerable populations.
The European Commission is one of the major donors of food assistance in the world.
Between 2007 and 2010, we allocated over € 1.242 billion to humanitarian food assistance operations targeting the most vulnerable people. Between January and September 2011, ECHO allocated over €245 million for food assistance and nutrition projects, which have benefited 6.8 million people in 36 countries.
Following the latest famine in the Horn of Africa, the European Union as a whole has provided over €675 million for the region so far, of which € 157 million is from the Commission.