By Etienne Mainimo Mengnjo
Three Agreements aimed at strengthening food production and food systems security as well as ensuring environmental preservation and social issues in Cameroon have been signed between Cameroon and the European Union, EU.
The agreement was signed on July 18 in Yaounde during the second Economic and Technical Dialogue on the Cameroon-European Union partnership.
The Minister of Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Alamine Ousmane Mey, who doubles as the Coordinator of the Cameroon-EU Partnership, represented the government of Cameroon, while Philippe Van Damme, head of the European Union (EU) delegation in Cameroon penned on behalf of his institution.
The funding from EU through its new financial mechanism dubbed: Neighbourhood, Development Cooperation and International Cooperation Instrument, NDICI, is worth some FCFA 40 billion.
These programmes include the food production and resilience of food systems in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, the Green Landscape South/South-East Cameroon and the Support for Civil Society in Cameroon and its contribution to gender equality, peace and social cohesion in crisis regions.
The food production and resilience of food systems in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries programme will cost FCFA 13.12 billion, including 9.85 billion in the form of budget support. The project aims to support the implementation of programmes to strengthen food production to deal with global food insecurity resulting from the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, which affects nearly three million people in Cameroon.
Its overall envelope, which amounts to 336.5 million Euros, in the form of humanitarian food aid, targets 20 countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific, ACP Group of States. According to information from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, there are 3.012 million food-insecure people in Cameroon. Children under the age of five are the most affected, with one third suffering from chronic malnutrition.
Concerning the Green Landscape South/South-East Cameroon programme, some FCFA 13.12 billion from Cameroon’s multi-annual indicative programme is geared towards improving the governance of territories and natural resources by decentralised actors and territorial representatives, particularly in the South and South-East Regions around the protected areas of Dja and Lobo.
The programme, support for civil society in Cameroon and its contribution to gender equality, peace and social cohesion in regions in crisis, will make it possible to pursue three programmes, namely: the support programme for the structuring of civil society in Cameroon, the support programme for civil society and the support programme for active citizenship, for a cumulative amount of FCFA 11.15 billion.
This Project also targets women’s organisations, in support of the reconstruction of peace, social cohesion and the protection of vulnerable groups in the Northwest and Southwest Regions.
Speaking during the event, both parties said the agreement will help to strengthen the effectiveness of the partnership relationship between Cameroon and the EU, with a view to meeting together the challenges of today and those of tomorrow.
Before signing the agreement, Minister Ousmane Mey and Philippe Van Damme alongside their delegations, had frank and sincere discussions on the various major areas that the funding will focus.