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Parliamentary questions
14 January 2011
Answer given by Mr Piebalgs on behalf of the Commission

In the area of development policy, the Commission is currently focusing its efforts on defining the most effective strategy to reduce poverty in the current changing world, and to increase the impact of EU aid. When this new EU Development Policy in support of inclusive growth and sustainable development has been presented and agreed, the Commission will then develop policy documents on the most relevant policy areas.

The Commission Work Programme for 2011 therefore does not contain plans for a Communication on Nutrition. Nutrition will nonetheless continue to be a priority for the Commission, addressing it both from the humanitarian and development angles.

Given that under-nutrition is driven by various underlying causes, horizontal linkages to health, food security and the protection of women and children are critical. So is the proper linkage of emergency humanitarian and development-oriented responses to under-nutrition. Key EU Communications have been adopted recently, in Food Security, Humanitarian Food Assistance and Global Health, which highlight the importance of under-nutrition and its multi-sector nature. In line with this increasingly comprehensive approach, the enhancement of overall policy coherence of EU external actions will be a major objective of the European External Action Service.

The Commission implements a comprehensive, cross-sector approach to nutrition at country and regional and international levels. At the national level the Commission, through the EU Delegations, supports implementation of national nutrition strategies with its full range of instruments, as the situation demands, encompassing the emergency and the development spectrum. Comprehensive, cross-sector approaches are also adopted at regional level. At global level, the Commission set out this approach at the recent High Level Side Event on Nutrition at the Millennium Development Goals summit in New York. The forthcoming merger of the Directorate-General for Development and the Europe-Aid Cooperation Office will further strengthen the consistency of the Commission's approach to nutrition issues. There is a close cooperation with the Directorate-General Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO), reflecting the Commission's commitment to tackle the issue of under-nutrition holistically, strengthening synergies between corresponding humanitarian and development activities.

The Commission has fully participated in the elaboration of the Scaling up Nutrition (SUN) Roadmap and is fully committed to its implementation. The Commission welcomes the recent increased leadership on nutrition issues and supports the application of aid effectiveness principles at country level. Given the multi-sector nature of national nutrition strategies, the Commission supports implementation through the full range of aid instruments. In programme and project terms the nutrition portfolio currently being implemented by the Commission stands at EUR 418 million, in terms of current projects and those in preparation. This includes a contribution of EUR 35 million to Unicef to support maternal and young child nutrition security at regional level in Asia and Africa. In addition, emergency humanitarian food support is provided in times of crisis e.g. the recent EUR 35 million for Niger. The Commission will look for every opportunity to increase such support and to make existing support as effective as possible.

OJ C 265 E, 09/09/2011
Last updated: 20 January 2011Legal notice