Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The European Commission has proposed aid worth 600 million euro to African, Caribbean and Pacific countries to address food insecurity.
The EC pointed out in a statement on Tuesday that the war in Ukraine aggravates the current food crisis and stressed that the aid is to be used for sustainable production, food system resilience, humanitarian assistance and macro-economic support.
EC President Ursua von der Leyen announced the proposal at the European Development Days in Brussels, stressing that “Russia’s war of aggression is taking a heavy and senseless toll, not only on the Ukrainian population, but also those most vulnerable across the world.”
She pointed out that millions of tons of grain are under blockade and added that the proposal should help to avoid the food crisis from deepening.
Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships, stressed the importance of solidarity and noted that it is “at the core of our EU values.”
“The most vulnerable are facing tremendous suffering with a worsened food crisis following Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine,” she added and concluded “with these additional 600 million euro, we will strengthen our support to address the crisis, while contributing to sustainable and resilient food systems.”
Distribution of funds
The EC proposes to mobilise the money from the EU Development Fund, pointing out that some 150 million is to go towards humanitarian assistance, 350 million towards resilience of food systems and food production, and 100 million towards macro-economic support.
The latest proposal comes on top of the EU’s mobilised assistance, with the body noting that nearly 193 million people faced food insecurity before the war in Ukraine broke out.
The conflict exacerbated the problem, with the EC noting that it reacted by stepping up international aid and reaffirming its commitment to fight against food insecurity in cooperation with its partners.
“The funds that the Commission proposes to use are de-committed funds from the 10th and 11th European Development Fund (EDF), which would return to EU member states unless otherwise agreed by the Council by unanimity,” the EC stressed.
The body concluded that the move still requires confirmation from the EU Council.