UN food operations boosted by Italian funding

6 June 2013

The United Nations food agency today received a boost for its efforts to eradicate hunger and malnutrition, sustainable production and poverty eradication in rural areas, with a $7.9 million announced donation from Italy.

The UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) said in a news release that the traditional focus of cooperation with Italy has been food security, with projects ranging from support to farmer-based cooperatives and the commercialisation of agriculture to early warning to reduction of post-harvest losses.

The donation’s announcement came at the end of a two-day Annual Review Meeting in Rome, during which FAO and Italian officials reviewed their cooperative programme, including the results achieved by more than 50 Italy-funded projects with a total budget of $127.2 million.

Among the projects, a dairy project in Herat, western Afghanistan. The project, launched in 2007, to develop a commercial dairy production system to improve production, contributes to improving food security in the province.

Other funding from Italy goes to emergency relief projects.

“In emergency assistance, 40 per cent of Italian aid has gone to sub-Saharan Africa over the past five years,” according to the news release. “The Near East has received 25 per cent and Asia about 20 per cent of emergency funding.”

FAO will convene on 15 June the 38th session of its Conference in Rome.

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