The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Netherlands today signed a new multi-million dollar agreement, in which Dutch authorities pledged to contribute $9 million up to the end of 2002 and to develop the cooperation into a long-term arrangement.
"The new partnership will provide FAO with much needed additional funding for important inter-regional or global activities related to food and agriculture," said Henri Carsalade, FAO Assistant Director-General, who heads the Technical Cooperation Department. "For the first time in more than 30 years of cooperation between FAO and the Netherlands, the programme offers both partners the chance for true strategic cooperation."
The agreement focuses mainly on food security, agro-biodiversity and forests, with a central emphasis on poverty alleviation, sustainable development, cooperation with other international organizations, gender issues and capacity building. Specifically, the Dutch government will support FAO's work on the trade dimension, the measurement of hunger and malnutrition, the promotion of forest conservation and sustainable management, forestry and climate change, food safety, and the conservation of plant and animal genetic diversity.
"I believe that with this agreement the Netherlands and FAO enter into a new phase in our cooperation," said Jan Berteling, Dutch Ambassador to FAO. "This places the FAO/Netherlands cooperation at the fore of innovation in Dutch multilateral development policy, providing a model to be used with other agencies."
In addition to the voluntary contribution, the Netherlands pays about $10 million to FAO's biannual regular budget and provides $30 million every year to finance FAO projects.