To boost the resilience of millions of people struggling with severe and often prolonged or recurrent food crises around the world, the European Commission and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have agreed to work together.

The agreement for a €70m European Union contribution, signed by Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, and the Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, José Graziano da Silva, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on September 25.

“Last year, the Global Network against Food Crises allowed us to take concrete and concerted steps to mitigate food crises and avert famine in northern Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen. And we need to scale this up,” said European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica. “This additional contribution of €70m to the FAO will further bolster our partnership and speed up the network’s efforts to tackle hunger globally by strengthening links between humanitarian, development and peace actors, as recommended by UN Security Council Resolution 2417.”

According to a Commission press release, the Resolution condemning the starving of civilians as a method of warfare signals a shared ambition to prevent and eradicate conflict-induced hunger. It will enable the EU and FAO and their partners to roll out resilience interventions around the world – wherever needed.

“The EU’s contribution will help improve the way we detect, prevent and respond to food crises,” added José Graziano da Silva of the FAO. “It will ultimately make hunger-stricken rural communities stronger in the face of emerging food crises. Investing in resilience is key to fighting hunger today and in the future. In view of the magnitude and persistence of food crises, we need to invest more in resilience interventions and create stronger alliances with all parties – humanitarian, development and peace actors – working together to stem hunger.”

Over 120 million people in 51 countries were affected by acute food insecurity in 2017 — that’s 11 million more people than the year before.