Food Security crisis: 17 ways the EU is stepping up for people
The Russian invasion of Ukraine reverberates around the world. It is about the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in Europe, and around the world.
This year alone, some 275 million people are likely to be at least at the risk of food insecurity across the world. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a commodity price surge and the Covid-19 pandemic have all posed a risk to food security around the world.
However, it is Russia’s war against Ukraine that has amplified the problem even further, particularly due to the deliberate targeting of food storage locations by the Russian forces, resulting in more 20 million tonnes of grain being currently blocked.
The EU and its member countries are stepping up action, together with international partners, to show its solidarity: to help Ukraine, its people and farmers, as well as vulnerable food-importing countries around the world that face surging prices and potential shortages. It is urgent that we work towards enhancing global food security while supporting farmers and consumers in the EU.
So the big question: what are we doing to help those affected by the situation?
Strengthening global food security
The EU will continue to show its full solidarity with countries around the world in addressing the consequences of war. The EU is a leading provider of humanitarian and development assistance to food and food systems.
- For the period 2021–2024, the EU is pledging at least €2.5 billion (€1.4 billion for development and €1.1 billion for humanitarian aid) for international cooperation with a nutrition objective. In the 2021–27 international cooperation programmes the EU will support food systems in about 70 partner countries.
This includes over €1 billion to address food security in the Sahel, and €633 million for urgent support and to strengthen food systems and resilience in the Horn of Africa.
- Investing in making local markets more sustainable and resilient with initiatives to boost the region’s own production capacity. For this, the EU budget has already earmarked €3 billion to invest in agriculture and nutrition, water and sanitation programmes in Africa.
- Working closely with the United Nations and the G7 Presidency.
Support to Ukraine
Our priority is to make sure that Ukrainians have enough food, fuel and water. We will also help them to continue planting and growing cereals and oilseeds, much needed for themselves and for the world and facilitate their exports.
4. Getting grain blocked in Ukraine out to global markets, to be able to provide Ukrainians with much needed revenues and the World Food Programme with the supplies it badly needs.
5. Making sure trade can continue to flow. Stepping up our work on the solidarity lanes and financing different modes of transportation so that Ukraine’s grain can reach the world’s most vulnerable countries.
6. Supporting Ukraine in developing and implementing a short-and-medium term food security strategy to ensure that contributions reach farms where possible, and that transportation and storage facilities are maintained to enable the country to feed its citizens and to eventually regain control of its export markets.
7. An EU Emergency Support Programme of €330 million for Ukraine will help to secure access to basic goods and services, as well as the protection of the population.
Supporting EU consumers and farmers
8. Improving the supply of food staples to ease price pressures.
9. Reducing value added tax rates to contain retail prices.
10. EU countries can draw from EU funds to provide food and/or basic material assistance to the most deprived.
11. A support package of €500 million to directly support farmers. EU countries can provide additional financial support to farmers to contribute to global food security.
12. EU countries will be allowed to pay increased levels of CAP direct payments in advance.
13. Market safety-net measures to support the pigmeat market in view of the particularly difficult situation of the sector.
14. Granted an exceptional and temporary derogation to allow the production of crops on land set aside within the EU, while maintaining full greening payments for farmers.
15. Proposed a new Temporary Crisis Framework that would also cover farmers, fertiliser producers and the fisheries sector.
Reinforcing the resilience and sustainability of our food systems
16. Enhancing resilience, by reducing the dependency of European agriculture on energy, energy intensive imports and feed imports is more than ever a necessity.
17. Implementing the necessary transitions set out in the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies. This means a greater use of innovation to contribute to increasing yields sustainably, such as precision farming, new genomic techniques, improved nutrient management.