The Food Security Thematic Programme (FSTP)

The Food Security Thematic Programme (FSTP)

The Food Security Thematic Programme (FSTP)

The Food Security Thematic Programme (FSTP) supports activities aimed at improving food security for the world's poorest and most vulnerable populations. It addresses structural issues leading to hunger and undernutrition in a bid to resolve these in the medium or long term, with an emphasis on developing sustainable solutions.

Key facts about the FSTP:

  • The FSTP contributes to the achievement of Millennium Development Goal 1.
  • It supports activities around the world.
  • It has a budget of €749 million for 2011-13.

Background & Objectives 

The Food Security Thematic Programme (FSTP) helps to address the structural causes of food insecurity for the world's poorest and most vulnerable populations. It devotes particular attention to the countries and regions that are the most off-track in reaching MDG 1.

The FSTP  aims at improving food and nutrition security for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. It contributes to the achievement of Millennium Development Goal 1, which reflects the international community's commitment to halve the proportion of people facing hunger and extreme poverty by 2015.

The FSTP’s efforts go hand in hand with bilateral cooperation with partner countries. The programme complements the geographical instruments and adds value by addressing the global, continental and regional dimensions associated with hunger and undernutrition and by ensuring transition from relief to development. It can back activities in countries facing particularly fragile situations, where geographic instruments cannot fully operate.

The FSTP is one of the thematic programmes set up under the Development Cooperation Instrument. It is based on article 15 of the Regulation establishing this instrument. Following on from the initial programming period (2007-10), the FSTP is currently in its second phase with a budget of €749 million for 2011-2013.

The FSTP's main objective, as defined in its strategy paper for 2011-13, is to improve food security in favour of the poorest and most vulnerable and contribute to achieving Millennium Development Goal 1, through a set of actions which ensure overall coherence, complementarity and continuity of EU interventions, including in the area of transition from relief to development as well as in particularly fragile situations.

During the period 2011-13, this objective is pursued through three strategic priorities:

Priority 1: Research, technology transfer and innovation to enhance food security
This priority aims to support pro-poor and demand-driven agricultural research and technology, notably by improving its outreach and dissemination, and by fostering innovative practices and approaches to food security.

Priority 2: Strengthened governance approaches for food security
This priority aims to:

  • support global, continental, regional and national improvements in food security governance,
  • make available and improve use of reliable and timely food security information,
  • intensify the policy dialogue and lessons-learning about food security at all levels and with all stakeholders,
  • enhance coordination and aid effectiveness.

Priority 3: Addressing food security for the poor and vulnerable in fragile situations
This priority aims to address the food insecurity of the most vulnerable populations in exceptional situations of transition and fragility where EU geographical instruments are not present or are present but cannot sufficiently address food security problems.


The Food Security Thematic Programme (FSTP) is implemented through Annual Action Programmes based on the Thematic Strategy Paper and Multi-annual Indicative Programme 2011-2013

The FTSP has worldwide coverage and can act at global, continental, regional and national level, always ensuring coherence and complementarity with other possible financing by EU geographical programmes and other instruments.

It targets the world’s poorest and most vulnerable groups:

  • children under the age of five;
  • communities with members suffering from HIV/AIDS or other chronic illnesses;
  • war-affected communities and groups and internally displaced people;
  • women, in particular female heads of household;
  • food-insecure pastoralists, smallholder farmers and fisher folk;
  • landless and farm labourers;
  • the urban ultra-poor.

To better achieve the goal of reaching its beneficiaries, this programme supports training and institutional capacity building for various stakeholders at national and regional level, including government officials, and supports inclusive regional processes and policies on food and nutrition security.

The FSTP has a budget of €749 million for 2011-13, allocated as follows across the programme's strategic priorities:

  • priority 1: €260 million (34.7%)
  • priority 2: €170 million (22.7%)
  • priority 3: €300 million (40.1%)
  • reserve: €19 million (2.5%)

The reserve is intended as a means of ensuring the financial flexibility of the programme. It could be used, more specifically, to advance Priority 3.

Of the total budget for 2011-13, €33 million are specifically earmarked for activities that benefit European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument  (ENPI) countries.

A number of entities are eligible for funding, such as:

  • partner countries and regions, and their institutions;
  • decentralised bodies in the partner countries (municipalities, provinces, departments and regions);
  • joint bodies set up by the partner countries and regions with the Community;
  • international organisations;
  • EU agencies;
  • bodies and entities of the EU’s member states, partner countries and regions and any other third country complying with the rules on access to the Community's external assistance, including public and parastatal bodies, non-state actors, private bodies, financial institutions and natural persons.

Specific eligibility criteria for individual calls are defined in the relevant documentation.