EU Food Facility
The global food crisis, stemming from soaring food prices in 2007 and 2008, was a wake-up call to the international community to get agriculture back on track in the fight against hunger. In 2009, the EU mobilized massive support for global food security through its EUR 1 billion EU Food Facility (EUFF). The UN team in Brussels played an important role in coordinating the UN’s response and feedback on the Food Facility, which meant that all pieces could fall in place relatively quickly.
The main aim of the Food Facility was to reduce the impact of food price volatility on local populations, increase food production capacity, and improve the way agriculture is managed in the longer term. This instrument provided for € 1 billion funding to be spent over three years, nearly half of which in 2009.
Since then, the EUFF has supported food security and resilience of 22 million of the world’s most vulnerable people in 35 countries. As a rapid response instrument, over € 550 million of the available funding were channelled through various international organisations represented at the UN High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis chaired by the UN Secretary General. The Task Force brings together the Heads of UN specialised agencies, funds and programmes, Bretton Woods institutions and relevant parts of the UN Secretariat. These organisations already had policy dialogue frameworks and operational assistance programmes in place that were supported and scaled up by the EUFF.
Food Facility funding to UNDP’s programmes
UNDP received a total contribution of around € 25.7 million from the Food Facility for the implementation of large-scale interventions in Cuba, Eritrea, Liberia, and Bangladesh.
A financial contribution of € 11.7 million made by the EUFF to the UNDP Office in Cuba allowed the launch in June 2009 of the "PALMA" programme (Programa de Apoyo Local a la Modernización del sector Agropecuario en Cuba). This partnership has supported the modernisation of local agriculture in 37 pilot municipalities in Cuba.
In Eritrea, a € 5 million contribution was provided for the response to the needs of former internally displaced people, and local communities affected by drought and the aftermath of the 1998-2000 border war with Ethiopia. The EUFF supported livelihoods and the food security and resilience of the war-affected and agro-pastoralist communities in the target regions of Debub, Gash-Barka, and Southern Red Sea by enhancing farming systems and productivity.
In Liberia, the Food Facility channelled nearly € 1.5 million through UNDP to contribute to the financing of the Government-owned joint programme on food security and nutrition, which was implemented in collaboration with several UN agencies. The UNDP-project provided direct support to 21,950 rural households, including 12,855 rice farmers and 9,095 vegetable growers in 8 counties (Bomi, Bong, Grand Gedeh, Lofa, Nimba, Grand Bassa, Margibi and Montserrado). Key interventions of this initiative included construction of food storage facilities, primary processing facilities, markets and rehabilitation of access roads to connect the farms to markets. UNDP was also involved with the organisation of communities into groups to manage the constructed facilities.
In Bangladesh, UNDP received a total grant of € 7.5 million for the implementation of a project for the development of agriculture and food security in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, located in the South-eastern part of the country. As a result of this project, food security and food stock increased among 29,208 households in 927 communities. The project also led to a significant improvement in knowledge and practice of yielding techniques by farmers, leading to an increase in production yields and returns.