Food security and nutrition
While encouraging progress on reducing extreme poverty levels has been achieved, malnutrition rates and hunger prevalence remain high in many African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa where countries were hardest hit by the 2007 food price crisis. The fight against hunger is enshrined in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and is a priority target of EU-ACP cooperation.
EU food security policy puts food availability, access to food, responses to food shortages and nutritional problems at the centre of poverty-reduction strategies.
While food prices have eased since the second half of 2008 following the 2007 crisis, they remain very high in some countries, affecting access to food for low-income population groups.
The EU Food Facility, established in response to the food crisis, provides rapid EU support to bridge the gap between emergency aid and medium to long-term development aid in 50 priority countries including many ACP States.
The uneven progress on improving food security around the world, as demonstrated by indicators of malnutrition, means that the situation in Sub-Saharan Africa is at the centre of cooperation activities and aid in this field.
Special attention is given to the contribution that sustainable agriculture can make in this context.
Key targets set in the framework of the Africa-EU Millennium Development Goals Partnership include:
- better access to food;
- making food security an integral and strategic part of the development agenda at national, regional and continental levels;
- reduced malnutrition, in particular under-5 chronic and acute malnutrition, as well as reduced maternal and child mortality;
- improved food-security early warning systems;
- wider application of safety-net / social transfer systems;
- reduced vulnerability in food-insecure communities.
Under the EU’s Food Security Thematic Programme, which covers all developing countries, a number of projects are implemented and target ACP regions. In line with the programme’s strategic priorities, they aim to improve food security by exploiting the potential of continental and regional approaches.
Programmes and projects
- Support to Nutrition Strategy in West & East Africa
- Technical and Scientific support to food-security information for decision-making in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Strengthening the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) institutions and processes
- Putting a Pro-poor Land Agenda into Practice: Ensuring Access to and Control over Natural Resources Helps Achieve Food Security
The overall objective of the project, which operates at continental, regional and country level, is to contribute to achieving the MDG related to nutrition and to ensure that children and women are protected from the consequences of the global financial and economic crisis.
The project, implemented by the Commission’s Joint Research Centre, covers the Horn of Africa region. Its purpose is to link information and decision-making with a view to improving food security response strategies focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) was put in place to achieve agriculture-led development and end hunger on the African continent.
This EU-funded project was launched to support the CAADP namely by strengthening organisations supporting the development and implementation of CADDP processes.
Rising prices make it more difficult for land-poor or landless people – the poorest of the rural poor – to gain access to land and thereby strengthen their livelihoods. Pro-poor land policies have the potential to counter these pressures and improve food security by making land more accessible to rural people lacking other livelihood opportunities.
The project aims to achieve this by enhancing the capacity of members and partners of the International Land Coalition, with a focus on Africa.