Dáil Éireann - Volume 571 - 01 October, 2003
Written Answers. - Overseas Development Aid.
Aengus Ó Snodaigh Aengus Ó Snodaigh
243. Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will report on the extent of food surpluses in the EU; the measures that he will take during the Irish EU Presidency to use such surpluses to feed victims of humanitarian disasters. [21526/03]
Mr. Cowen Mr. Cowen
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Cowen): The latest figures (September 2003) for the following commodities in EU intervention stocks for the EU 15 are – beef (bone in) 356 tonnes, (boneless) 2,300 tonnes, cereals 6.6 million tonnes, rice 699,000 tonnes, skimmed milk powder 200,231 tonnes and butter 225,634 tonnes.
In responding to humanitarian crises, the EU's policy is to favour the local purchase of foodstuffs and other materials. Best practice has demonstrated that the most effective way of feeding the food insecure, and hungry, without undermining local productive capacities and coping strategies is to purchase humanitarian supplies locally or in the region.
However in extreme circumstances, related to major humanitarian catastrophes, where the needs are so great and stocks are not available locally, intervention stocks have been used to save lives. Decisions on the use of these stocks must be taken by the EU Council of Ministers on the basis of a Commission proposal.
If such a catastrophe were to arise in the coming months, we would consult with the Commission about the most appropriate means of providing EU aid, including the possible use of intervention stocks.
Dáil Éireann 571 Written Answers. Overseas Development Aid.