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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations
Novice6 april 2022Generalni direktorat za sosedstvo in širitvena pogajanja

The Commission acts in support of food security and resilience in the Southern Neighbourhood

Food security

Today, as part of a wide-ranging response to mitigate the impact of Russia’s war against Ukraine on the EU’s partner countries, the European Commission has presented an initiative for a regional “Food and Resilience Facility” worth €225 million to address short and medium term needs of the Southern Neighbourhood partners. It aims to address the consequences of rising prices of food and commodities in the region. 

The facility will allow for specific interventions designed according to the domestic context and needs and will focus mainly on the most vulnerable people and/or the partners most severely affected by the crisis.

Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi said: “In the time of crisis, the EU stands in solidarity with its partners. The Kremlin-made war is threatening food security across our neighbourhood. Our support package of €225 million will help and support the people in the Middle East and North Africa region, including to ensure their access to basic goods and services.” 

In the short term, the objectives of the Food and Resilience Facility are to respond to commodity shortage emergencies, contribute to balance of payment stabilisation, sustain local social protection and social safety net systems which are faced with an additional acute crisis.

In the medium to longer term, the Food and Resilience Facility aims to help to sustain local agricultural systems and to support the development of less input-intensive and more climate relevant agricultural practices. It should also contribute to the sustainability of local agri-food systems and help South Neighbourhood diversify and move away from their over dependency on crops/cereals importations, including by shifting towards less water intensive varieties, crops and agricultural practices.

The new “Food and Resilience Facility” is funded from the Southern Neighbourhood envelope of NDICI-Global Europe.

Background

The Southern Neighbourhood partners are structurally dependent on imports of cereals.The war in Ukraine has a substantial impact on wheat and cooking oil commodity supply chains, with implications on food security. Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, and Palestine1 rely heavily on Ukraine and/or Russia for their food and feed imports, particularly cereals (and most importantly wheat), while Morocco and Tunisia rely heavily on Russian exports of nitrogen fertilisers for their agri-food sectors. 

Scarcity of supply combined with a general increase on the price of commodities, is due to lead to inflation for wheat related products, including bread, which is an important staple in the local food culture, as well as food value chains. If not substituted, a possible reduction in imports of fertilisers and an increase in energy prices could also lead to lower domestic agriculture yields, thus contributing to further inflation. In the agricultural sector, reduced yields and income will have adverse welfare implications, especially for the most vulnerable segments of population.

Food and Resilience Facility breakdown- Indicative allocation:

Algeria: ​€5 million

Egypt: ​€100 million

Jordan: ​€25 million

Lebanon: ​€25 million

Morocco: ​€15 million

Palestine: ​€25 million

Syria: ​​€10 million

Tunisia: ​€20 million

 

Total: ​€225 million

[1] This designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of the Member States on this issue.

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