Joining forces to alleviate poverty and hunger in developing countries
FAO and European Commission forge strategic partnership to achieve development goals
13 September 2004, Brussels/Rome -- The European Commission and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today signed a strategic partnership agreement designed to reinforce their joint efforts to reduce poverty, promote agricultural development and fight hunger in developing countries.
Specific areas of collaboration will be food security, sustainable rural development and agricultural policies, food safety and quality, natural resources management, statistics and information exchange.
At today's signing ceremony, FAO Director-General Dr Jacques Diouf said: "I warmly welcome this new agreement. Only by working together can we address the challenge of reducing chronic hunger and undernourishment, which currently afflict more than 840 million people in the world. Partnerships such as this one are essential if we are to meet the target agreed at the World Food Summit and enshrined in the UN Millennium Development Goals."
European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid Poul Nielson said: "The European Commission and FAO are already close partners in promoting development and humanitarian relief all over the world. The strategic partnership we have signed today will further consolidate this long and well-established mutual cooperation and reinforce the quality of our collaboration in the pursuit of a common goal: alleviating rural poverty and hunger in developing countries."
Cooperation between FAO and the European Commission dates back to 1991. It has so far resulted in the implementation of 116 projects with a total budget of approximately 108 million euros (US$131 million). Most of the projects have provided technical assistance to developing countries in the fields of food security, agriculture, forestry and fisheries. In 2003 alone, the EC financed 21 projects for a total amount of 19 million euros (US$23 million).
Since the World Food Summit, convened by FAO in Rome in 1996, the global problem of food insecurity has been drawing increased attention. The EC has consequently increased field operations and activities directly oriented at achieving food security.
Under the new partnership, the Commission and FAO will further enhance policy dialogue at headquarters level and strengthen collaboration, particularly at country level. This will help to bring the country support strategies of the Commission and FAO's technical assistance into closer harmony, resulting in greater synergies and improved efficiency in delivering assistance to developing countries.
Information Officer, FAO
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