Global Policy Forum

The Netherlands Pledges 20 Million Euros

UN Observer
July 28, 2004

The Netherlands has pledged 20 million euros to support the work of the FAO-Netherlands Partnership Programme (FNPP) over the next four years, FAO announced today.

The FNPP focuses on three key areas: food security, agricultural biodiversity and forestry. Within this framework, it supports FAO's work to build capacity in poor countries for development planning and policy-making. This assistance is targeted specifically to the poorest countries -- those classified by the World Bank as eligible for International Development Association loans.

The programme was established in May 2001 as a new type of FAO initiative, in which donor support is not tied to particular projects or specific departments within the UN agency, but instead goes to support a broader range of activities sharing common objectives and carried out in close cooperation by diverse FAO units. "What this partnership with the Netherlands allows us to do is concentrate on those countries that most need help, mobilizing FAO's broad and diverse expertise on the ground in an extremely comprehensive and focused way," said Henri Carsalade, FAO Assistant Director-General for the Technical Cooperation Department.

Activities undertaken by FAO with FNPP support in recent years range from the development of a coordinated forestry policy for the countries of central Africa, to technical assistance with poverty reduction programmes in India's poverty-stricken Orissa state, to studies in Ethiopia aimed at improving the efficiency of seed delivery systems.

Emphasis on Results

According to His Excellency Ewald Wermuth, Ambassador of the Netherlands to FAO, the Netherlands and FAO want to see tangible results in the countries where they are working together. "The extended FNPP is aimed at helping FAO sharpen its focus on producing impacts at country level, especially through giving more policy advice to governments," Mr Wermuth said.

"Thanks to this partnership, FAO can take the tools it has, the knowledge it has, the expertise it has, and package them in a way that has relevance and which can spark policy change at the national level," Mr Carsalade added.

Among the activities targeted for action by FAO under the agreement signed today are:

  • improving developing countries' abilities to assess food security and nutrition needs during emergencies, in order to better mobilize their relief efforts;

  • promoting the inclusion of food security and forestry concerns in national poverty reduction strategies;

  • stimulating more widespread adaptation of national plans for helping small-scale farmers and rural communities cope with the increasingly globalized food economy;

  • reducing poverty through more effective use of forest resources; and

  • encouraging better management of agricultural biodiversity at the local level, as well as the incorporation of agrobiodiversity concerns into national policies.

  • Joining Efforts, Leveraging Resources

    The work FAO carries out through the FNPP is highly collaborative, said Mr Carsalade. "The idea is to team up with national governments, as well as with organizations like the World Bank, to pool resources and expertise and join efforts toward the common goal of helping developing countries implement policy reforms that can reduce poverty and hunger," he said.

    The FNPP was the first such "strategic partnership" programme established by FAO. Similar partnerships have since been formed, or are under preparation, with Canada, Norway and Sweden. Today's pledge brings the total amount of FNPP funding granted to FAO by the Netherlands to around 35 million euros. This support comes in addition to the regular contribution made by the Netherlands to FAO's operating budget. The new funding will support FAO's FNPP work through 2007.

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