Ireland will provide at least €284m this year in support for food, agriculture, and nutrition programmes around the world, the Tánaiste has announced.
Irish-pledged support includes €2m to the ‘Grain from Ukraine’ initiative announced by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to help counter the impact of the Russian war on developing countries and the suspension of the Black Grain Sea Initiative.
Under this Initiative, Ukraine, partner countries and private sector donors have been delivering Ukrainian grain to countries in Africa and Asia that are facing malnutrition and extreme hunger problems.
Food security, pandemic preparedness, as well as sustainable development, are likely to be key areas discussed at the UN in New York this week, which is being attended by the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, and Health Minister Stephen Donnelly.
Speaking in New York, Tánaiste Micheál Martin said: “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 €284m in support for food, agriculture, and nutrition around the world.”
Mr Martin has also €2.5m 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.
A further €4.2m is being pledged to support the UN’s Food Systems Hub.
Mr Martin said this week’s UN summit is a “crucial moment” to take stock of progress on global Sustainable Development Goals (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.
He added: “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.”