Tánaiste pledges €284 million to food, agriculture and nutrition programmes
Tánaiste, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Micheál Martin T.D., has pledged that Ireland will provide at least €284 million this year in support for food, agriculture and nutrition programmes around the world.
This funding includes a number of new pledges announced by the Tánaiste today while speaking at a major food systems event in New York on the eve of the SDG Summit. The new pledges are:
€4.2 million to support the UN’s Food Systems Hub, managed by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), over three years.
€2.5 million to support a new Women’s Economic Empowerment initiative in partnership with IFAD (the International Fund for Agricultural Development) and the Irish League of Credit Unions.
€2 million to the ‘Grain from Ukraine’ initiative announced by President Zelenskyy to help counter the impact of the war in Ukraine on developing countries and the irresponsible suspension of the Black Grain Sea Initiative.
The Tánaiste said:
“Ireland is a world leader in tackling hunger. Our history of famine has ensured that ending hunger is one of the core priorities at the heart of our international engagement. This year, Ireland will provide at least €284 million in support for food, agriculture and nutrition around the world.
“Ending hunger is one of the top aims of the Sustainable Development Goals. Seven years after Ireland co-facilitated agreement on the SDGs, we will play a leading role this week at the SDG Summit in New York. This Summit is a crucial moment to take stock of progress against the SDG targets and create real momentum to deliver these important goals.
“Ireland believes that transformation of food systems must be at the heart of our work to reinvigorate the SDGs. Hunger is again increasing globally. We are in a global food and nutrition crisis, one that is characterised by more frequent shocks. Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine has added an additional dimension of uncertainty and volatility.
“Building resilience must become an urgent core strategy. This is easy to say but much harder to do. But we need to step up and build capacity across food, health, education, economic and governance systems.
“Peace is a pre-requisite for the development of communities and countries. Ireland has learned this through our own long search for a historic and lasting peace. We are now enjoying the fruits of that peace, even if the political process remains fragile. Worldwide, conflict and violence always disrupt food production and supply and lead to displacement and increased vulnerability.”
Tackling hunger is one of the key priority areas of Irish Aid, the Government’s overseas development assistance programme. The €284 million Ireland will spend this year includes a range of partnerships with international partners through Irish Aid.
It includes delivery on the pledge of €50 million, spent over three years, to combat child wasting in cooperation with USAID and UNICEF. This pledge was made at the UN General Assembly in 2022 and has been delivered on by Ireland.
It also includes a new joint programme, in cooperation with USAID, in Malawi with smallholder farmers and the private sector to support food systems transformation. Ireland will invest at least €42 million in this programme over the next four years.