FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

FAO supports small farmers and rural families affected by the war

©FAO/Anastasiia Borodaenko

26/01/2024 , Berlin

The German Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, Cem Oezdemir and the Italian Minister for Agriculture, Francesco Lollobrigida, hosted a special event on Ukraine. Other G7 Ministers for Agriculture, and Ministers for Agriculture from Georgia and Republic of Moldova attended the event. The Minister for Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, Mykola Solskyi, outlined the challenges Ukraine is facing due to significant damage to its agricultural infrastructure.

Maximo Torero, Chief Economist of the Food and Agriculture of the United Nations (FAO), presented FAO’s current assessment on the situation in Ukraine and neighbouring countries as well as FAO’s rapid response plan for Ukraine in 2024 and the FAO Development Strategy for Ukraine (2024–2027). These documents detail FAO’s focus on improved competitiveness of the country’s agrifood sector, promoting integrated landscape management for sustainable agricultural production, and facilitating the alignment of Ukrainian agrifood systems to European Union standards.

FAO is looking for funding of around USD 290 million to support emergency response (USD 150 million) and the mid-term development (USD 138 million) plans. The emergency response funding would enable coverage of the immediate needs of more than 800 000 rural people in 2024. 

Since the escalation of the war in February 2022, FAO has supported over 185 000 rural families with vegetable seeds, animal feed, poultry, vouchers, and cash and 10 000 farmers with temporary grain storage equipment, cereal seeds, and generators.

With support from its partners, last year FAO managed to relocate the Ukrainian Gene Bank from the east of the country, opened laboratories to facilitate grain export at border facilities, developed a matching grants scheme in western Ukraine to help small-scale producers and value chains development, as well as continued humanitarian support.

Discussions aimed at reviewing existing challenges and identifying immediate- and short-term needs for implementing the 2030 Agenda in the food and agriculture sector with consideration for the requirements of the EU accession for Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine, with special focus on maintaining Ukraine’s role as a key player in global food security.