European Union Food Facility Programme IFAD-ECOWAS-ICRISAT
To address food security problems and soaring prices for basic commodities, in December 2008 the European Union launched a Food Facility totalling €1 billion spread over three years, from 2009 to 2011. Under this initiative, the regional programme IFAD-EU-ECOWAS Food Facility was established with a budget of €20 million. The regional programme covers a number of countries in West Africa. To assure food security and protect the population from recurrent crises, countries dependent on foreign aid for much of their food supply, such as Benin, Mali, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, have designed strategies and programmes to support food security that are intended to increase food production through the intensification of strategic crops such as rice, cassava, yams and ground nuts, and widespread use of selected seeds and mineral fertilizers.