€20m advance funding provided to the UN World Food Programme

An advance payment of €20m was made to the the UN World Food Programme (WFP) by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed.

The payment represents Ireland’s 2017 contribution to the WFP, with this year’s contribution being paid back in July.

It is believed that this advance payment will significantly contribute to enhance WFP’s capability to address the growing humanitarian crises around the world.

A strategic partnership between Ireland and the WFP remains in place from 2016 to 2018.

The advance payment will help the WFP across a number of areas, Minister Creed said.

This advance payment for 2017, while generally targeted at WFP’s emergency and protracted relief operations, will give WFP the flexibility to plan and target this funding in the most strategic, efficient and effective manner.

“This support is particularly necessary in the context of the current crisis in the Syria region where large parts of our funding will be targeted,” he said.

Executive Director of WFP, Ertharin Cousin said the programme is grateful for Ireland’s timely and reliable support, which provides life-saving assistance to those facing food insecurity in several areas of the world.

“WFP’s partnership with Ireland is a fine example of good humanitarian donorship, which will enable us to take further steps towards our common goal of achieving Zero Hunger,” Cousin said.

Meanwhile, this advance brings total Overseas Development Aid spending by the Department to €43m this year, Minister Creed said.

In addition to payment of Ireland’s annual subscription to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the Department are also set to support specific worthwhile projects.

These projects include FAO’s emergency support for vulnerable farm households in the Syria region, projects building agricultural value chains and reducing food loss and waste in Africa as well as a number of initiatives on climate change and sustainable agriculture.

Achieving food security at the heart of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s efforts, to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food Deputy Director-General of the FAO Daniel Gustafson said.

Ireland’s support helps the FAO across a number of projects including improving food and nutrition security of vulnerable households affected by the Syria crisis within the country and the region.

As well as reducing food losses in food grain supply chains in Timor Leste and in Malawi and Supporting Rift Valley Fever Preparedness in West Africa, as part of FAO’s contribution to One Health, he said.