The Department of Agriculture’s international development assistance for 2020 totalled over €30m, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has confirmed.
This includes advance payment of Ireland’s 2021 commitment of €25m to the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP), which won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.
Minister McConalogue said the early payment of Ireland’s 2021 funding commitment will allow the WFP the flexibility to target its humanitarian relief operations in the most effective way.
WFP executive director David Beasley said: “This flexible annual contribution will allow us to reach some of the world’s most vulnerable people while scaling up our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In addition to Ireland’s annual subscription of €1.64m to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), funding of €2.14m has been allocated to specific FAO projects.
These include improving food security for refugees in the conflict-affected area of the Lake Chad basin, enhancing surveillance and control of the desert locust invasion in Kenya and support of the UN Food Systems Summit action track on access to safe and nutritious food.
Minister McConalogue said: “This funding of food and agriculture projects, particularly in rural Africa, reflects the solidarity of farmers, fishers and food producers in Ireland with their counterparts in developing countries.
“Our commitment as a leader in sustainable food production must be assisting those nations who benefit from the WFP. This support is a key tenet of our sustainability credentials.”
Funding of €591,000 was also provided this year under the Africa Agri-food Development Programme (AADP), which supports partnerships between Irish and African agri-food companies.