New European Union members increase support for UN food programmes

New European Union members increase support for UN food programmes

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The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has hailed the increasing support and commitment of 12 new European Union (EU) Member States to achieving the number 1 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving poverty and hunger by 2015.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has hailed the increasing support and commitment of 12 new European Union (EU) Member States to achieving the number 1 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving poverty and hunger by 2015.

“Over the past two years, we have seen a considerable strengthening of our joint partnership with these new donors and we are optimistic that further strides will be made in the battle against hunger,” WFP Deputy Executive Director for Fundraising and Communications John Powell said.

“We are convinced that with such backing, we can have a real impact on this scourge and improve the lives of millions of people around the world,” he added.

By 2010, the 12 new EU Members have set themselves an official development aid (ODA) commitment of 0.17 percent of gross national income (GNI) and 0.33 percent by 2015. In 2006, contributions from the 12 reached $2.1 million in support of WFP operations in Georgia, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Afghanistan and the occupied Palestinian territory. Poland led with contributions amounting to $1.2 million.

In a recent two-day consultation in Nicosia, Cyprus, representatives of the Foreign and Agriculture Ministries of the 12 expressed their enthusiasm for extending the scope of co-operation.

They discussed innovative ways to participate in emergency work, as in Lebanon after last year’s war between Israel and Hizbollah, humanitarian aid funding mechanisms, and engaging the young talent of member states to work at WFP.

“These areas of potential partnership give us hope MDG One is indeed achievable,” Mr. Powell said in concluding remarks. “We are tremendously grateful for your nations’ generous help for people affected by humanitarian crises and for the confidence you have shown in WFP’s ability to deliver life-saving aid.”