Norway contributes NOK 250 million to FAO crises response

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Norway increases support for crisis response under the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The funding will enable FAO to rapidly help people maintain food production in crisis situations.

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Credit: ©FAO/Opeyemi Olagunju

‘Maintaining local food production in times of crises saves lives. It is also an effective form of development assistance. Every dollar we spend to protect the livelihoods of rural populations saves us roughly ten dollars in humanitarian food assistance’ said Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim. 

Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine has major global ramifications, and follows closely on the heels of a pandemic that disrupted the economies of many developing countries. More people are experiencing hunger and poverty, particularly in parts of Africa and the Middle East, due to escalating prices for energy and fertiliser. And food security is further threatened by increasingly frequent extreme weather events caused by climate change.   

In March, a broad majority in the Norwegian parliament allocated an additional NOK 5 billion for 2023 to provide assistance to developing countries that are severely affected by the war in Ukraine. Part of this funding is now being used to provide an extra contribution of NOK 250 million to FAO’s Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities (SFERA).  This corresponds to approx. USD 24 million.

Support to maintain food production during crises   

The funding from Norway enables FAO to assist around 600 000 food insecure people with farming inputs, livestock supplies, fishing inputs and cash assistance.

Support for food production is a cost-effective means of preventing hunger. In Somalia, with a USD 200 cropping package, a farmer can produce enough sorghum to cover household cereal needs for a year, worth USD 960, in addition to nutritious legumes and vegetables to consume and sell.

Norwegian support to FAO

FAO is one of Norway’s most important partners in the effort to promote long-term food security and agricultural production around the world. Norway’s flexible funding to SFERA helps FAO to provide rapid assistance to maintain agricultural production in crisis situations.  

The Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities was established in 2004. The aim is to promote a faster and more flexible response to humanitarian crises to minimise the time needed to get help to those who need it most. Norwegian allocations to the fund have been used in the areas affected by the earthquakes in Syria and Türkiye to provide seed and facilitate repair of damaged equipment so that farmers do not miss the planting season.