Food Security in the poorer countries of the world is a main concern for European Citizens as reflected by the leading role of the European Union in the international donor community with a yearly contribution of 500MEuro. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), 815 million people worldwide are chronically food-insecure, while a further 5-10% of the population is at risk of “acute” food insecurity by natural and man-made crises.

The European Commission Food Security policy is defined by Council Regulation (N 1292/96) while the Communication "Advancing the Food Security Agenda to Achieve the MDGs" (COM(2006)21) laid the foundations for the new financing tool for Food Security started in 2007, the so called Food Security Thematic Programme (FSTP).

The FOODSEC action has developed since 2001, in cooperation with the MARS STAT action and in the framework of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative, a system for regional monitoring and forecasting in various parts of the world. During an initial phase (2001 - 2004), the following four pilot areas were covered: Russia and the New Independent States, the Mediterranean Basin, Eastern Africa and South America (MERCOSUR countries plus Bolivia). Since 2005 the system has been extended to food insecure areas worldwide.

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