Food price crisis
Food price crisis
Soaring food prices have brought poverty, hunger and malnutrition to millions throughout the developing world in the last few years. In 2007 the number of undernourished people in the world rose to 923 million according to FAO estimates – most of them in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
After dramatic price rises in late 2007, prices eased in the second half of 2008. But, despite record production figures, prices are still very high in some developing countries, affecting access to food for low-income population groups.
The commission has responded quickly:
- additional €140m in humanitarian aid authorised in 2008
- additional €50m made available from food security thematic programme
- additional €200m in emergency funding from the 10th EDF
- proposal to set up a special €1bn food facility – now in operation
The €1bn food facility (see EU regulation 1337/2008 ) will enable the EU to respond rapidly to problems caused by soaring food prices in developing countries. Operating over a 3-year period from 2009-2011, the fund will bridge the gap between emergency aid and medium to long-term development aid. Its chief objectives are to:
- encourage food producers to increase supply
- deal directly with the effects of volatile food prices on local populations
- increase food production capacity and improve the way agriculture is managed in the longer term.
In concrete terms, it will support:
- measures to improve access to agricultural inputs and services including fertilizers and seeds – with special attention to local facilities and availability
- safety-net measuresto maintain or increase agricultural production capacity and help meet the basic food needs of the most vulnerable populations, including children
- other small-scale production-boosting measures based on countries’ individual needs – microcredit, investment, equipment, infrastructure and storage – and vocational training and support for agricultural professionals.
Food Facility Interim Report
On 12 March 2010, the European Commission adopted the Food Facility Interim Report. This Document reports on the measures taken by the Commission in 2009 to implement the Food Facility. It shows that, financially, implementation is ahead of schedule with more commitments and payments made than anticipated. Moreover, the overall plan for the Food facility, as approved by Council and Parliament in March 2009, has been respected with less than 5% change in financial planning. The report also indicates monitoring arrangements made to assess the effects of the Food Facility projects.