EU Food Facility: Effective but could be better

    EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs at an agricultural project funded by the EU Food Facility. Piebalgs said the program helped more than 150 million people in 49 countries. Photo by: European Commission

    The EU Food Facility is an efficiently managed, impactful program, an assessment released Dec. 17 reveals. But the report also suggests improvements for similar programs that may be launched in the future.

    The €1 billion ($54 billion) facility was established in 2008 to address volatility in food prices by helping boost supply, mitigating adverse effects on local populations and supporting the agricultural sector. As a bridge between emergency aid and longer-term support, it was designed to run from 2009 to 2011.

    At the launch of the report, EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs commended the program, which helped more than 150 million people in 49 countries through different U.N. and member-state agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and other groups.

    “Figures like this speak for themselves and today, I am very proud to be able to announce just what an incredible difference our Food Facility has made to the lives of millions of people in just three years. The results of this project show that we continue to be uniquely placed to provide a rapid, strategic and far reaching response on the ground when it is most needed,” Piebalgs said.

    However, the assessment also identified areas of improvement and recommended the following for greater impact:

    • Conversion of the Food Facility into a permanent project on “stand-by” and retain food security among the top priorities of long-term cooperation.

    • Pursuit of a single primary objective for a more focused intervention and measurable results, which will be achieved through proper resource allocation and complementing labor divisions.

    • Deeper involvement of the European Union in country needs assessments and increased focus on activities relevant to the chosen objective.

    • Identify comparative advantages in selecting implementation partners and design an exit strategy that guarantees sustainability.

    • Further engage country-level stakeholders, including governments.

    • Apply the lessons learned from the implementation of the Food Facility and explore the possibility of replicating the project.

    The evaluation was based on the program’s relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability derived from overall inventory, data from the 232 interventions under the facility, field visits, survey analysis, interviews with stakeholders and project-level interviews.

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    About the author

    • Adrienne Valdez

      Adrienne Valdez is a former staff writer for Devex, covering breaking international development news. Before joining Devex, Adrienne worked as a news correspondent for a public-sector modernization publication.