Tuesday, 10 May 2022
Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions
Russia's invasion of Ukraine has had a devastating impact on Ukraine and the Ukrainians. With both countries together producing 12% of the world's traded calories, the invasion has also driven global food, fuel and fertiliser prices to record highs. This has particularly affected some of the most vulnerable countries in the world, which are reliant on food and fertiliser imports.
The World Food Programme, which Ireland supports, is particularly exposed to increased cereal prices and transport costs, making it much more expensive to support the additional 47 million people likely to be on the brink of famine resulting from the conflict.
Building on Irish Aid's long-standing work to address hunger, my Department is working closely with international partners to help address the situation. The International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, has launched a crisis response initiative to help poor farmers withstand increased market turbulence and food prices. Ireland provides more than €4 million annually to IFAD. As a member of its executive board, we have been involved in steering this work.
At the UN Security Council, Ireland is the penholder on the conflict and hunger file. Last month we hosted a high-profile meeting in New York to shine a light directly on the emerging food security crisis.
As the situation evolves, my Department will closely monitor the situation. Ireland already spends €14 million per year on social protection programmes, which can be rapidly scaled up as necessary. At the Nutrition for Growth Summit in December, Ireland pledged €800 million to nutrition work over the five years to 2026, including a three-year strategic partnership with the World Food Programme worth €75 million. In 2020 Ireland spent approximately €193 million on programmes that addressed hunger.