Reducing by half the number of people suffering from hunger by 2015 is a priority for the EU and the International community enshrined in the first Millenium Development Goal. Over 900 million people are estimated to be malnourished - most of them in Sub-Saharan Africa and in South Asia. Even if food prices eased in the second half of 2008, they are still very high and subject to volatility in some developing countries, affecting access to food for low income population groups.
The implementation plan builds on the food security policy of 2010 and other recent food and nutrition security policies by providing a tool to improve coherence, complementarity and coordination among the EU and its Member States as well as instigating a process to provide reliable information on our interventions, thereby ensuring appropriate accountability to policy commitments.
New EU policy to improve nutrition across the world and save millions of lives
The European Commission has adopted the communication: “Enhancing Maternal and Child Nutrition in external assistance: an EU policy framework”. The new EU policy aims to improve the nutrition of mothers and children in order to reduce mortality and diseases, as well as the impediments to growth and development caused by under-nutrition.
Helping people to better cope with future shocks: the EU adopts a new Communication
On the 3 October 2012, the European Commission adopted a new communication on helping vulnerable communities in crisis prone areas across the world build resilience to future shocks. The communication draws lessons from the extensive experience of responding to recent food crises across the globe and outlines the concrete measures that the European Union is taking to help vulnerable populations reduce the impact of future crises and disasters.
For the period 2007-2013, the EU food security policy is financed through three types of instruments:
- the implementation of food security policy at national and regional level is supported by geographical instruments, such as the European Development Fund (in the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries) and the Development Co-operation Instrument (in Latin America, Asia and South Africa),
- food security issues at global, continental and regional level are addressed by the Food Security Thematic Programme (FSTP). This also tackles food security issues in those countries where the geographical instruments cannot be fully utilised,
- In order to respond rapidly to problems caused by the food crisis in developing countries, the € 1 billion Food Facility provides assistance to countries most affected by the crisis over a three-year period 2009-2011.
Within the Commission, the responsibility for programming financial resources is shared between Directorate General Development (for African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and the FSTP) and the European External Action Service (geographical resources for non-ACP countries).
The 1996 World Food Summit agreed that food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.
Food security is a priority area of concentration of the European Consensus on Development. The EU food security policy tackles the issue on three dimensions: availability of food at regional and national levels, access to food by households and food use and nutritional adequacy at individual level.