Resource Mobilization

FAO and Spain reaffirm their partnership with new EUR 2.8 million contribution to support COVID-19 impact mitigation and development projects

19/10/2020 - 

On 29 September 2020, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) authorized an exceptional voluntary contribution to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) of EUR 2.8 million. This year, Spain has generously increased its voluntary contributions and broadened the spectrum of international cooperation to support actions that can help alleviate the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable populations.

This includes enhancing food security, protecting the livelihoods of impacted farming families, and improving the resilience of rural communities, as well as activities aligned to achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The agreement was signed by the FAO Deputy Director-General Beth Bechdol and the President of AECID Ángeles Moreno Bau.

Through this partnership, Spain will take action to mitigate the pandemic’s disruption to food systems that are the foundations of health. This is why half of the programmes covered in the Memorandum of Understanding will contribute to FAO’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme. Funding will go towards supporting food security and nutrition, as well as the promotion of the right to adequate food to achieve compliance with SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), and strengthening the response to COVID-19 in the medium- and long-term.

AECID will also finance a COVID-19 initiative in Latin America and the Caribbean that aims to help countries in the Region eliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition. In addition, the partnership will support food safety of the most vulnerable populations that have been hit by the pandemic among the pastoral communities in the Sahel Region and West Africa, by assuring access to natural resources and grazing areas and building capacities to improve governance of pastoral lands.

In addition, it will also fund programmes focused on fighting hunger and accelerating progress towards achieving the 2030 SDG Agenda. In this agreement, AECID will also prioritize initiatives that facilitate and accelerate food and agricultural trade and market development, value chains and producers’ associations in the agricultural sector in Gaza and the West Bank. Moreover, the partnership will support the Committee on World Food Security’s work in gender equality and women's empowerment in the context of food security and nutrition.

Lastly, thanks to this agreement, AECID will strengthen food security in southeastern Haiti by improving the access of families from the local communities of Belle Anse and Thiotte to quality food in sufficient quantity linked to local agricultural production, through the improvement of school canteens. This generous contribution from AECID adds to the effort that the Government of Spain makes annually through mandatory and other voluntary contributions, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

FAO’s Deputy Director-General Beth Bechdol thanked Spain for its precious support and active engagement with FAO since its creation: “Thanks to Spain’s long-standing partnership and trust, we will continue to transform our food systems with innovative approaches, making them more resilient, sustainable and equitable. I’d like express my sincere gratitude to Spain for supporting FAO’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme. It is only by working together that we can rebuild a better post-pandemic world without hunger.”