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Creed announces overseas development aid fund

Wednesday, 3rd January, 2018 5:56pm

Cork’s Agriculture, Food and the Marine Minister, Michael Creed, recently announced funding totaling €18 million for the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), in 2017.

This comprises €14 million for the UN World Food Programme and €4.6 million for the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.

The €14 million funding from the Department will contribute towards the World Food Programme’s humanitarian relief operations and work towards achieving the sustainable development goal of zero hunger, the Minister said.

“While generally targeted at WFP’s much-needed relief operations around the world, it will also give WFP the scope to flexibly plan and target this funding in the most strategic, efficient and effective manner possible,” he said.

The contribution includes €10 million as part of a three-year strategic partnership agreement with WFP, with an additional contribution of €4 million. This includes €1.5 million to address urgent humanitarian needs in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Thanking Ireland for its contribution, WFP executive director, David M Beasley, said that WFP was very grateful for the country’s constant and consistent support. “The people of the World Food Programme admire Ireland’s dedication to helping the hungry and the vulnerable and appreciate that it provides consistent, flexible and reliable funding for WFP’s work,” he said.

“Together, we have a model partnership that saves lives and builds resilience around the world, and WFP and Ireland will continue to work together to help achieve our common goal of zero hunger,” said Mr Beasley.

Ireland will become a member of WFP’s executive board for a two-year term, starting in February.

In addition to Ireland’s annual subscription to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Minister Creed announced supports for specific projects under the auspices of FAO.

These will promote food security and livelihood resilience among farmers and refugees in crisis regions, including Nigeria, Central African Republic, and among Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. They will also support projects on climate smart agriculture and international food safety standards.

“Agriculture is the backbone of rural food security and livelihoods,” said Dominique Burgeon, director, emergency and rehabilitation division, FAO. “When addressing the immediate and longer-term needs of those affected by crisis, maintaining food production and rebuilding the agriculture sector are fundamental to preventing loss of life from severe hunger and to providing a pathway towards resilience in the midst of humanitarian crises, and beyond,” he said.

“For this reason, FAO is very grateful to the government of Ireland for its contribution,” Mr Burgeon said.

Minister Creed said that these allocations brought total overseas development aid spending by his department to €18.6m in 2017. This, he said, reflected both the importance of agriculture, food security and nutrition in international development, and the Irish Government’s commitment to the UN sustainable development goals.

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