Brussels grants 20 million euros to Tunisia to help finance its food needs


In a recent report on the global food crisis that could cause the Russian-Ukrainian war, the World Bank cited Tunisia among the countries that this crisis could affect. The European Union, anxious to maintain stability on its southern borders and to prevent an increase in migratory flows which could be caused by possible famines, has decided to fly to the aid of the countries of the Middle East and North Africa , including Tunisia, to help them meet their food needs in the coming period.

It is in this context of tight food supplies that the European Commission (EC) has decided to grant financing of 20 million euros to Tunisia within the framework of the Food and resilience. This is a €225 million support program to help people in the Middle East and North Africa region, partners in the Southern Neighborhood, cope with rising food prices food and raw materials following Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The initiative, presented on April 6, 2022, is funded by the NDICI-Global Europe’s Southern Neighborhood envelope. It is oriented towards countries dependent on grain imports, namely Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Syria, the EC said.

In the short term, the objectives of the Food and Resilience Facility are to respond to emergency shortages of basic products, to contribute to the stabilization of the balance of payments, to support local social protection systems and social safety nets which are faced with an additional acute crisis.

In the medium to long term, the Food and Resilience Facility aims to help support local farming systems and support the development of less input-intensive and more climate-adapted farming practices. It should also contribute to the sustainability of local agri-food systems and help Southern Neighborhood countries to diversify away from their excessive dependence on cereal imports, in particular by adopting varieties, crops and less water-intensive agricultural practices.

In the medium to long term, the Food and Resilience Facility aims to help support local farming systems and support the development of less input-intensive and more climate-adapted farming practices. It should also contribute to the sustainability of local agri-food systems and help the southern neighborhood to diversify and move away from its excessive dependence on cereal imports, in particular by adopting varieties, crops and agricultural practices less water-intensive.

Neighborhood and Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi said: “In times of crisis, the EU stands in solidarity with its partners. Our support envelope of €225 million will help and support the populations of the Middle East and North Africa region, in particular to guarantee their access to basic goods and services.”

The war in Ukraine is having a substantial impact on wheat and cooking oil supply chains, with food security implications. Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Tunisia and Palestine are highly dependent on Ukraine and/or Russia for their food and feed imports, especially cereals (and especially wheat), while Morocco and Tunisia depend heavily on Russian exports of nitrogen fertilizers for the production of their agri-food chains.

IB




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