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A Helping Hand For Moldova Farmers

by 5m Editor
14 September 2007, at 12:15pm

MOLDOVA - Following a severe drought in Moldova, especially districts in the South, the European Commission has allocated €3 million in humanitarian aid for the country's most vulnerable farmers and rural people as a short-term measure.

The funds will cover the distribution of fodder and feedstuffs for livestock. The support is channelled through ECHO, the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid department, under the responsibility of Commissioner Louis Michel. In the medium and long-term, the Commission plans to assist Moldova with further budgetary support under the responsility of Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner. Nearly € 40 mn will become available to the Moldovan state budget in the next 6 months.

Moldova, already one of the poorest countries in Europe, has been hit by a severe drought that has affected 80% of the country, especially districts in the South. The impact on food crops has been serious and the most vulnerable households, relying on home garden production for many food staples, face shortages. Many small farmers have also lost their 'savings' represented by livestock that have perished due to the lack of water.

The €3 million emergency decision is designed to make food available for small farmers and agricultural workers in southern Moldova and to sustain remaining livestock by providing feedstuffs for cows, pigs, sheep, goats and poultry.

Humanitarian assistance, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme, will be provided to more than 15 000 vulnerable rural households.

The Commission will continue monitoring the drought situation in Moldova.

For the medium-term, the Commission is planning to accelerate the disbursements under the macro-financial support for Moldova. This will help to cover immediate external financing needs and shortfalls in Moldova’s budget. Together with planned budgetary support within the framework of Food Security Programme and the Support to the Social Assistance reform funded under the European Neighbourhood Policy Instrument (ENPI) the EC will contribute nearly €40m directly to the Moldovan State Budget over the next six months, provided that Moldova fulfils commonly agreed conditions.

For the long term response, the Commission is determined to continue using Budget Support to increase predictability of financial resources made available to the Government. Support to reforms, including within the agro-food sector will be envisaged under the ENPI National Action Programme 2008.

5m Editor