The Caribbean region faces territorial challenges in nutrition due to its island geography, location, climate and population density. The limited availability of land for food production is exacerbated by the export of traditional commodities to preferential markets. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has had a strong impact on key food imports in the Caribbean, which is heavily dependent on these imports (60-80 per cent of its food needs). This is of concern not only for local consumption, but also for the feeding of tourists, which is critical to the regional economy. On the other hand, the increasing frequency of extreme weather events calls for greater socio-territorial resilience, especially important for food production and access to food. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated economic and social complexities, resulting in increased dependence on imports to meet the local needs of a population with limited access to certain goods and services.
The FAO defines food security as constant, physical and economic access to food that meets the dietary needs for a healthy life. However, FAO's Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition 2021 reveals that 67.5% of the Caribbean population faces food insecurity due to problems of affordability and nutritional quality, in contrast to the global average of 27.6%. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the feminisation of poverty and inequality in the distribution of resources also have a direct impact on food security. According to the Panorama of Food and Nutrition Security 2018, 8.4% of women in the region suffer from severe food insecurity, compared to 6.9% of men. For this reason, the Pan American Health Organization (WHO) emphasises the importance of recognising the role of women as producers and providers of food in the household, as well as their contribution to unpaid productive and reproductive care work carried out in the informal economy.
In this context, FIIAPP leads Component 4 EU-CaN Fund (EU-Caribbean Fund for Nutrition) Nourishing Futures Together, an EU-funded delegated cooperation programme of 5 million euros through a comprehensive food security programme to be implemented between 2023 and 2027, with a significant financial contribution of 19 million euros.
Implemented together with the Central Project Management Agency (CPVA) - Lithuania, this programme is designed to address the key obstacles to achieving sustainable solutions for food and nutrition security in the region. Its overall objectives encompass the promotion of sustainable and climate-resilient practices for local food production, the establishment of efficient and reliable regional distribution systems, the promotion of healthy eating habits and the strengthening of social safety nets capable of withstanding various challenges.
Thus, FIIAPP aims, under its leadership, to improve the sustainability, resilience, nutritional value and gender inclusiveness of local and regional food production systems, encompassing agriculture and fisheries. Improve food processing and distribution networks within the region. Expand the scope and inclusiveness of national social protection systems, with a specific emphasis on benefiting agricultural stakeholders and promoting equitable access to nutritionally balanced and healthy diets for all.
To this end, the Fund is intended to operate for a period of four years, focusing specifically on the six countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS): Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It also encompasses the OECS as a regional integration area. This broad geographical scope is chosen to maximise impact and synergies with other initiatives, particularly EUROSOCIAL.
In line with these challenges, CARICOM countries will remain eligible to participate, especially if they have the potential for regional or multi-country impact, promote intra-regional cooperation and contribute to regional integration within CARICOM. In this way the project offers an opportunity for EU Member States to act as providers of associated expertise. Synergies with bilateral cooperation agencies will also be promoted in the broader framework of the Team Europe Initiative on Inclusive Societies in LAC.
Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia.
Social inclusion and nutrition
Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (AESAN, Directorate General for Family Diversity and Social Services, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Agriculture. Administration from the territorial level (Autonomous Communities)
Start - 10/01/2024
End - 10/01/2028
Central Project Management Agency (CPVA) – Lithuania