Press release | Date: 12/05/2022 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Food production in Ukraine is essential for the food security of people in a wide range of countries. Norway is increasing its support to Ukrainian farmers in order to facilitate continued agricultural production.
‘It is vital to help the country maintain its agricultural output. Ukraine plays a key role in global food supply, and it is critical to keep the agricultural sector going where possible,’ said Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim.
Ukraine has a population of 40 million, and typically produces enough food for roughly 400 million people. The country produces half the global supply of sunflower oil and is the world’s sixth-largest exporter of wheat. Ukraine also exports one-sixth of the world’s corn. But now, the war in the country has severely curtailed food production.
‘The spring sowing season will soon be over in Ukraine. There is still a small window of opportunity to sow the fields, but fertiliser and seed are both urgently needed,’ said Ms Tvinnereim.
There are 45 developing countries that import at least a third of their wheat from Ukraine and Russia, and 18 of these import over half. In addition, food prices have now become a serious problem in many countries. Global food prices had already reached a record high in February 2022, due in part to higher energy costs. Global food prices are expected to rise even more in the time ahead as a result of the war in Ukraine.
Norway has therefore decided to allocate NOK 50 million in funding to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to help ensure that essential agricultural inputs reach farmers in time.
This support comes in addition to the NOK 2 billion allocated to humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and the refugee response in neighbouring countries.
‘The scale of humanitarian need is enormous, and Norway has provided food and cash assistance in addition to other support through aid organisations. This is about saving people’s lives now,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.
‘Maintaining agricultural production in Ukraine is crucial in order to safeguard global food security in both the short and the long term,’ said Ms Tvinnereim.
The EBRD has been active in Ukraine for many years, and still has personnel in the country despite the war. The EBRD has already taken a number of steps to support Ukraine, including an initiative to match contributions provided by donors. The support provided by Norway will thus trigger a corresponding contribution from the EBRD.
‘It is important that aid provided by Norway helps to generate funding from other donors and multilateral institutions. It is through this kind of cooperation that we can achieve maximum results. We must use Norwegian aid wisely and make sure we get the most out of every dollar we spend,’ said Ms Tvinnereim.
Contact: Mari Bangstad, firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile: +47 41 44 08 71.