Belgium has announced its full support of the renewed FAO Strategic Framework through direct funding to the FAO budget. Belgium will donate €9.2 million over the three-year period 2013-2015 towards FAO programmes that focus on hunger eradication and malnutrition, sustainable production and also poverty eradication in rural areas as well as better governance for food and agriculture in recipient countries, FAO has announced.
The donation goes towards FAO programmes that boost productivity and sustainability in agriculture, promote better market access for small producers, and develop capacity and better governance in recipient countries.
Officials from Belgium Development Cooperation and FAO have just held their two-day annual meeting to review the partnership and plan new initiatives. Belgium's contribution towards FAO's programme is in addition to its membership dues.
Belgium supports FAO global initiatives but also concentrates its funding on important country-based programmes. The partner countries are chosen because they rank among the poorest countries in the world or because they have long worked with Belgium cooperation.
Belgium has already committed itself to invest 15 percent of its aid budget in agricultural development by 2015, striving to get the best value from its contribution.
Belgium-FAO cooperation is in line with the Belgian law on development cooperation, with three thematic priorities: human rights, including child labour in agriculture, decent work, and social cohesion.
In order to fight poverty and strengthen human rights and governance, Belgium will support ways in which agriculture ministries and institutions, at the national and local levels, can involve civil society, including producers, and the private sector in the formulation of agricultural policy.
Belgium has worked with FAO for decades, earning a reputation as one of the Organization's most innovative partners.