EU grants 10 million euros for food security in the Philippines

Published by rudy Date posted on April 18, 2009

Commissioner Louis Michel, member of the European Commission responsible for Development and Humanitarian Aid, said in Brussels that “Europe has already made humanitarian responses to the food crisis through emergency aid. The “Food Facility”is the development response – 1 billion euros over 3 years to get agriculture back on its feet.

The package now targets the 23 worst-hit countries, in response to the food crisis which already hit developing countries from last year. over the months ahead, we must not forget the impact that the financial crisis and economic downturn will have on developing countries – this is only now becoming clear and could be much worse than expected. In attending to recovery plans for our own economy, the EU has in no way diminished our commitment to developing countries as decisions like this clearly show.”

Ambassador Alistair MacDonald, Head of Delegation of the European Commission to the Philippines, added that the “Food Facility reflects the EU’s commitment to help the Philippines address the challenges of poverty and food security, and in particular to help increase rice production. We have for many years worked with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Agrarian Reform in promoting rural development, and are happy to be able to help now in relation to food production.”

In December 2008, the European Parliament and Council adopted a Regulation establishing a 1 billion euros “Food Facility,” which constitutes the main EU response to the worsening global food security situation in 2007 to 2008. Addressing the period between emergency aid and medium to long-term development cooperation, the Food Facility will operate for a period of 3 years (2009 to 2011).

Within this Food Facility, the European Commission has earmarked a total of some 30 million euros for actions to be implemented in the Philippines. The first grant of 10 million euros for the Philippines, as well as the overall plan for the Food Facility, was approved this week by the Commission.

This grant of 10 million euros will provide support for an irrigated rice production-enhancement program, to be implemented by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in co-ordination with the Department of Agriculture and other relevant authorities.

The program aims to secure the supply of certified imbred paddy seed for Communal Irrigation schemes in order to improve rice production. About 400,000 metric tons of certified seeds will be provided during the 2009 planting season.

More than communal irrigation schemes will be rehabilitated and more then 250 irrigators’ associations will be given support in post-harvesting activities, marketing, extension and education services.

The overall plan for the Food Facility contains a list of 50 target countries which will receive assistance during a three year period. Support will be provided through international organizations, regional organizations and national governments as well as a call for proposals for activities by non-state actors, member-states bodies and other eligible implementing actors. –Manila Times

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