With the current rise in food prices, there are more than 925 million people affected by chronic hunger. The “European Union” (EU) is committed towards reducing this number by 2015. Together with the “Food and Agriculture Organization” (FAO), the “World Food Programme” (WFP) and the “International Fund for Agricultural Development” (IFAD), the EU is developing a new “Strategic Framework of Cooperation” to tackle food insecurity and malnutrition.
The EU policy on humanitarian food assistance was developed in parallel, yet in close coordination with the EU policy on food security, a more comprehensive framework that supports investment in agriculture and addresses food access. Once seen as the way to prevent famines in disaster struck countries, ‘dumping’ food on the local markets is no longer accepted as good practice.
Besides the standard food distribution that risks creating aid dependency and undermining local markets and farmers, there is a whole new range of food assistance tools. New tools such as cash transfer programmes, vouchers, food-for-work etc. already represent a first step towards the recovery phase. Fortunately, the discourse has shifted from the somewhat moral duty of giving food to the malnourished to the way this is done: “…A challenge of this magnitude requires the cooperation of all of us who share the same goal – to ensure that we deliver aid in the most efficient and effective manner…” (Kristalina Georgieva in Europa, 2011).