EUROPEAN UNION: The European Commission and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) agreed to a new partnership to take effective action to reduce hunger. The three-year, 15 million euro program initiated by the agreement covers 20 countries across the world and aims to identify and analyze food security needs and recommend ways to reduce hunger based on the findings, Xinhua reports. The countries represent three very different food insecurity situations. Some, such as Eritrea and the Democratic Republic of Congo, are in the grip of protracted crisis or conflict; others, such as Laos and Malawi, suffer chronic, structural food insecurity, while countries in the last group, such as Tajikistan and Georgia, are making the difficult transition from a centrally planned system to a free market economy. Another important dimension of the program is that of raising public awareness and promoting dialogue on food insecurity at a global level. In this way, information gathered at field level in individual countries can be used to take effective and coordinated action in the worldwide fight against hunger.