FAO and EU Partnership

EU in the world

The European Union (EU) is the world’s largest development aid donor, contributing over half the world’s total ODA (Official Development Assistance). Around one sixth of these funds are managed directly by the European Commission (EC). The EC is an important UN partner, contributing over EUR 1 billion in support of external assistance programmes and projects. The financial and contractual aspects of programmes funded by the EC have been streamlined through the use of the Financial and Administrative Framework Agreement (FAFA).

EU and FAO

The partnership between the EU and FAO is sound and growing. The EU is one of the major resource partners of FAO. Over the past four years (from 2012 to 2015), the EU contributed USD 664 million to trust funds implemented by FAO. In 2015, FAO was the fifth largest UN recipient of EU-funded grants.

EU contributions to FAO from 2006 to 2015


The EU’s voluntary contributions to FAO have been increasing since 2006. In particular, in 2009 the EU supported the Food Facility Programme with an exceptional amount exceeding EUR 232 million, allowing the organization of field operations in twenty-eight countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, touching the lives of more than nine million people in rural areas. Because of a less favourable exchange rate, the contribution provided by the EU in United States Dollar seems to be lower in 2015 (with respect to 2014), but the value of the contributions increased in 2015 (in Euro).    

Geographic orientation of FAO-EU cooperation (2011-2015)


If we analyse the contribution from a regional point of view, what emerges is that in 2015 the EU mainly provided support to interregional/global projects, with an increasing trend since 2012. The African region decreased significantly in 2015, while Europe, Asia and the Near East are subject to major fluctuations over the years.

EU contributions to the FAO Strategic Objectives (2015)


In 2015, the majority of the EU contributions supported FAO’s Strategic Objective 5 (36 percent), followed by Strategic Objective 1 (24 percent), which together accounted for over half of the EU contributions to FAO. The remaining EU-funded projects mainly contributed to FAO’s Strategic Objective 2 and Strategic Objective 4 (16 percent and 15 percent, respectively).

EU contribution by DGs in 2015


The EU contributions to FAO are channelled through different Directorates-General (DGs); it should be noted that 82 percent of the funds are provided by the Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO), and 5 percent by the Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO). In addition to these, FAO closely cooperates also with numerous other DGs.


Beneficiaries of grants

FAO’s Administrative Services Division keeps track of grants issued within the framework of EU-funded projects. For more information, you may check out FAO’s Statistics for Procurement Activities. In case of further questions you may contact csap-MS507@fao.org for letters of agreement or csap-MS502@fao.org for the procurement of goods and services.