In June 2016, the Commission adopted its second report on ‘Implementing EU food and nutrition security policy commitments(1)’ and the accompanying staff working document(2). This indicated that disbursements for food and nutrition security by the European institutions and Member States in 2014 amounted to EUR 3.66 billion (EUR 1.015 billion from EU institutions). For 2014-2020, agriculture and food security is a priority in 38 African country programmes, with allocation of EUR 3.88 billion.
Women make essential contributions to the agricultural and rural economies in all developing countries, and therefore gender equality is a key concern in the Commission’s activities in this sector. However, since gender equality is a cross-cutting issue, mainstreamed in all of the Commission’s programmes, specific data for programmes in support of female participation are not available.
The Commission proposed the External Investment Plan(3) (EIP) in September 2016, aimed at boosting investment in Africa and EU Neighbourhood countries. It proposes an integrated approach around 3 pillars: financing, technical assistance and an enhanced business climate.
The first pillar, the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD), covers investments made through the blending platforms, with an estimated EU support of EUR 2.6 billion and the newly proposed guarantee from the EU budget of EUR 1.5 billion. These combined EUR 4.4. billion of EU funds are expected to leverage additional private and public funding, totalling up to EUR 44 billion until 2020.
The ordinary legislative procedure on the draft EFSD Regulation is still in progress with trilogues currently taking place. The objective is to make the EFSD operational by autumn 2017. Discussions on priority sectors still need to take place. The Commission services and EEAS intend to put forward sustainable agriculture as a priority, however no specific percentage can be indicated at this stage.