Close to a billion people will go to bed hungry tonight because they have no money to buy or grow food, or because climate change or war have turned them into disaster victims.
We Europeans do not stand idly by while people are suffering; this is why we are working hard to improve the way we manage EU food and nutrition assistance. For instance, we favour wider use of cash and vouchers, rather than in-kind aid such as food imported from far away. This not only helps the hungry, but also supports the local farmers and creates the conditions for reducing aid dependency in the future.
We are also working hard to convince other big donors and implementing agencies to modernise the international instruments for food aid. An important step in this direction was made today, as the Council of the EU adopted the new Food Assistance Convention. It aims to focus on the most vulnerable populations with a bigger toolbox that includes cash, nutrition, and the protection of livelihoods in emergency and recovery phases.
So, we are improving our instruments so that we can help better – but also so that we can continue to ensure our accountability to European taxpayers. To this end, we have made sure that the Convention explicitly notes the importance of accountability and calls on donors to “monitor, evaluate and communicate, on a transparent basis,” the outcomes of their food assistance.