Norway to increase support to enhance food security in crisis situations

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‘Food production is crucial to people’s lives and livelihoods. At a time when the world is facing a growing number of crises, it is vital that we strengthen food security,’ said Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim.

On 24 October, Norway entered into an agreement with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to help enable the organisation to respond rapidly to crises. 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 is now increasing its funding to the Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities (SFERA) by an additional NOK 100 million to strengthen the response to food-related and agricultural threats and emergencies.

‘A delayed response to a crisis exacerbates human suffering. This can have long-term negative consequences, particularly in the agricultural sector. Not only do people not have enough food, but they also lose their livelihoods. Norway considers it important to provide flexible funding because it is difficult to foresee where the next crisis will strike. This will help to lay the foundation for safeguarding people’s futures once a crisis is over,’ said Ms Tvinnereim.

Both the pandemic and climate change have increased the frequency of crises. Extreme weather events, rapidly rising prices and geopolitical tensions can lead to political unrest and conflict even in areas that have been politically stable. Norway’s agreement with FAO will help the organisation to respond quickly to unforeseen crises. The funding will be used in countries outside Europe, and priority will be given to the poorest countries in Africa.

‘Norway is working to achieve closer coordination between its humanitarian efforts and efforts to promote long-term food security. The ability to maintain food production in crisis situations can reduce subsequent humanitarian needs. Norway’s support to FAO may, for example, be used to provide local producers with seed supplies or fertiliser in time for the planting season,’ said Ms Tvinnereim.

‘We would like to thank the Government of Norway for this generous and timely contribution. As needs continue to outpace resources, it is vital to commit funds strategically. Timing and scale are key to FAO’s efforts to counter growing acute food security levels. This contribution will enable rapid, flexible and effective assistance,’ said FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu.