Articles taggés avec ‘Millennium Development Goals’

EU funding: Commission’s help in front of the global food price rise

Vendredi 18 juillet 2008
 
 

Commission proposes special financing facility worth €1 billion to help developing country farmers

The European Commission today proposed to establish a special “facility for rapid response to soaring food prices in developing countries”. The fund would be worth €1 billion and would operate for two years, 2008 and 2009. This money would be in addition to existing development funds and would be taken from unused money from the European Union’s agricultural budget. It would be provided to developing countries which are most in need, based on a set of objective criteria. The facility would give priority to supply-side measures, improving access to farm inputs such as fertilisers and seed, possibly through credit, and to safety net measures aimed at improving productive capacity in agriculture. The support would be paid via international organisations, including regional organisations. The proposal falls under the co-decision procedure and the Commission hopes that Council and Parliament can reach agreement by November in order not to lose the unused 2008 money.

Rising food prices in 2007 and 2008 have had negative effects on many developing countries and their populations. Poverty has deepened for hundreds of millions of people and recent progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals has been put at risk. Rising food prices have resulted in riots, unrest and instability in several countries, risking the gains of years of political, developmental and peacekeeping investments.

However, the new situation could also provide a window of opportunity to stimulate a supply response from farmers in developing countries. It offers new income-generating opportunities to bring rural communities out of poverty by providing incentives for investments and productivity improvements.

At the same time, high agricultural prices have contributed to a reduction of market expenditure in the 2008 EU budget and to lower estimates for the 2009 budget within heading 2 of the financial framework. The Commission believes this provides an exceptional opportunity to provide a temporary facility to help stimulate farming in developing countries.

The Commission expects the positive results of this assistance to include an increase in agricultural production and food security in assisted countries, reduced malnutrition rates and reduced food price inflation.

Eligible countries and the share they should receive will be selected on the basis of transparent criteria. Information provided by the UN Task Force and international organisations (mainly UN agencies like FAO, WFP, World Bank and IMF) will be used, and this may be supplemented by country-specific information obtained from EC Delegations.

While all developing countries are potentially eligible for support, assistance will be provided to those that are severely affected by the food price crisis in socio-economic and political terms, have a need for measures to be taken and which do not have the means or capacity to respond unassisted.

Indicative criteria in selecting countries include reliance on food imports, food price inflation, and social and fiscal vulnerability. Other financing available to the country from the donor community will be taken into account, as well as the country’s potential to increase agricultural production. The Facility also allows for regional-level programmes, covering all developing countries of that region. Global initiatives may also be financed when implemented through a regional or international organization.

Assistance channelled through International Organisations could for instance apply to FAO (emergency input delivery programme), IFAD (e.g. rural finance), UNICEF (child nutrition, nutritional safety nets), WFP (humanitarian food assistance, transitional safety nets), the ICRC (food assistance) and the World Bank (market-based risk management, safety nets).

The Commission hopes the co-decision procedure can be completed by November, to allow commitment of funds in 2008 and implementation in early 2009.

 
  Source:
Press Room - European Commission

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Eu funding : Soaring food prices: investment in agriculture needed in developing countries

Lundi 26 mai 2008

In adopting a resolution on rising food prices in the EU and the developing countries, MEPs say that priority should be given to investment in agriculture, aquaculture, rural development and agribusinesses in developing countries.

Fairer international trade rules and an assessment of the effects of speculation on food prices are also underlined by MEPs. On agro-fuels, the Parliament wants production to be linked to strong sustainability criteria and to see second‑generation bioenergy developed.

Right to food

The EP reaffirms the right to food and the need to improve access for all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life. Two billion people still live in dire poverty and 850 million human beings are hungry daily. The resolution was adopted with 485 votes in favour 52 against and 7 abstentions.

The Council should step up its commitments to the Millennium Development Goals by adopting an EU MDG Agenda for Action at the June European Council. The House invites the Commission to analyse the effect of speculation on food prices and to come up with appropriate measures.

Sustainable food production

Analysing the discrepancies between farmgate prices and those charged by the major retailers should be done by Commission and the Member States. An impact assessment of the role of retailers in the food chain, as retail food prices is also called by MEPs.

The current EU cereal stocks would last only 30 days, and questions whether our food stocks are at the right level, says the resolution which calls for better forecasting of agricultural output.

Priority needs to be given to food over fuels and biofuel production should be linked to strong sustainability criteria. The House accepts that EU subsidisation of crops intended for biofuel production is no longer justified, but emphasises that only 2-3% of EU agricultural land is currently being used for this kind of production and media reports blaming biofuels for the current food crisis are exaggerated as far as the EU is concerned.

MEPs call on the Commission and the Member States to do more to promote the use and production of second‑generation bio-energy.

The current crisis demands an immediate and thorough discussion among the EU institutions and the Member States on the role that modern biotechnology can play in ensuring the continued production of food at reasonable prices, says the resolution.

Better development policies

The House calls for an urgent and substantial increase in investment in agriculture, aquaculture, rural development and agribusinesses in developing countries, focused on poor farmers and small‑scale farming. 75% of the world’s poor population lives in rural areas, but that only 4% of official development assistance (ODA) is dedicated to agriculture.

Small farmers in poor countries, who are mainly women, need to have access to land, financial services and credit, high-yield seeds, irrigation systems and fertilisers, says the resolution. MEPs call on the EIB to investigate possibilities for the immediate setting up of a guarantee fund in support of national micro-credit and loan schemes and risk-hedging schemes that operate close to the needs of local food producers.

EU Member States and the international community are asked to meet the extraordinary emergency appeal of the World Food Programme to assist it in facing up to the new challenges in the fight against hunger.

 
  Source:
European Parliament

Eu funding : Soaring food prices: investment in agriculture needed in developing countries

Lundi 26 mai 2008

In adopting a resolution on rising food prices in the EU and the developing countries, MEPs say that priority should be given to investment in agriculture, aquaculture, rural development and agribusinesses in developing countries.

Fairer international trade rules and an assessment of the effects of speculation on food prices are also underlined by MEPs. On agro-fuels, the Parliament wants production to be linked to strong sustainability criteria and to see second‑generation bioenergy developed.

Right to food

The EP reaffirms the right to food and the need to improve access for all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life. Two billion people still live in dire poverty and 850 million human beings are hungry daily. The resolution was adopted with 485 votes in favour 52 against and 7 abstentions.

The Council should step up its commitments to the Millennium Development Goals by adopting an EU MDG Agenda for Action at the June European Council. The House invites the Commission to analyse the effect of speculation on food prices and to come up with appropriate measures.

Sustainable food production

Analysing the discrepancies between farmgate prices and those charged by the major retailers should be done by Commission and the Member States. An impact assessment of the role of retailers in the food chain, as retail food prices is also called by MEPs.

The current EU cereal stocks would last only 30 days, and questions whether our food stocks are at the right level, says the resolution which calls for better forecasting of agricultural output.

Priority needs to be given to food over fuels and biofuel production should be linked to strong sustainability criteria. The House accepts that EU subsidisation of crops intended for biofuel production is no longer justified, but emphasises that only 2-3% of EU agricultural land is currently being used for this kind of production and media reports blaming biofuels for the current food crisis are exaggerated as far as the EU is concerned.

MEPs call on the Commission and the Member States to do more to promote the use and production of second‑generation bio-energy.

The current crisis demands an immediate and thorough discussion among the EU institutions and the Member States on the role that modern biotechnology can play in ensuring the continued production of food at reasonable prices, says the resolution.

Better development policies

The House calls for an urgent and substantial increase in investment in agriculture, aquaculture, rural development and agribusinesses in developing countries, focused on poor farmers and small‑scale farming. 75% of the world’s poor population lives in rural areas, but that only 4% of official development assistance (ODA) is dedicated to agriculture.

Small farmers in poor countries, who are mainly women, need to have access to land, financial services and credit, high-yield seeds, irrigation systems and fertilisers, says the resolution. MEPs call on the EIB to investigate possibilities for the immediate setting up of a guarantee fund in support of national micro-credit and loan schemes and risk-hedging schemes that operate close to the needs of local food producers.

EU Member States and the international community are asked to meet the extraordinary emergency appeal of the World Food Programme to assist it in facing up to the new challenges in the fight against hunger.

 
  Source:
European Parliament