Checkbiotech: Joining forces to alleviate poverty and hunger in developing countries
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BRUSSELS/ROME -The European Commission and the UN Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO) signed a strategic partnership agreement designed to
reinforce their joint efforts to reduce poverty, promote agricultural
development and fight hunger in developing countries, September, 2004 .
Specific areas of collaboration will be food security, sustainable rural
development and agricultural policies, food safety and quality, natural
resources management, statistics and information exchange.
At today's signing ceremony, FAO Director-General Dr Jacques Diouf said: "I
warmly welcome this new agreement. Only by working together can we address
the challenge of reducing chronic hunger and undernourishment, which
currently afflict more than 840 million people in the world. Partnerships
such as this one are essential if we are to meet the target agreed at the
World Food Summit and enshrined in the UN Millennium Development Goals."
European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid Poul Nielson
said: "The European Commission and FAO are already close partners in
promoting development and humanitarian relief all over the world. The
strategic partnership we have signed today will further consolidate this
long and well-established mutual cooperation and reinforce the quality of
our collaboration in the pursuit of a common goal: alleviating rural poverty
and hunger in developing countries."
Cooperation between FAO and the European Commission dates back to 1991. It
has so far resulted in the implementation of 116 projects with a total
budget of approximately 108 million euros (US$131 million). Most of the
projects have provided technical assistance to developing countries in the
fields of food security, agriculture, forestry and fisheries. In 2003 alone,
the EC financed 21 projects for a total amount of 19 million euros (US$23
Since the World Food Summit, convened by FAO in Rome in 1996, the global
problem of food insecurity has been drawing increased attention. The EC has
consequently increased field operations and activities directly oriented at
achieving food security.
Under the new partnership, the Commission and FAO will further enhance
policy dialogue at headquarters level and strengthen collaboration,
particularly at country level. This will help to bring the country support
strategies of the Commission and FAO's technical assistance into closer
harmony, resulting in greater synergies and improved efficiency in
delivering assistance to developing countries.
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