FAO stands ready to provide technical support for Ukraine
FAO and the Government of Ukraine discussed the impact of COVID-19 on food security
FAO Regional Programme Leader for Europe and Central Asia, Raimund Jehle, met the Deputy Minister for the Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture (MDETA), Trade Representative of Ukraine, Taras Kachka, and the Department of multilateral and bilateral trade agreements.
The meeting was devoted to the impact of the COVID-19 on food security, the review of the ongoing programme portfolio and bilateral cooperation between FAO and Ukraine, the increase of FAO operational presence in the country.
FAO Ukraine is currently implementing a portfolio of projects supporting agricultural and rural development, fisheries, food safety, adaptation to climate change and combating land degradation, animal and plant diseases control, emergency assistance and promotion of economic recovery in the conflict-affected regions in eastern Ukraine.
“Food security levels on national, regional and global levels have been changed dramatically due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important for countries to meet the immediate food needs of vulnerable populations, boost social protection programmes, gain efficiency and try to reduce trade-related costs”, noted Raimund Jehle.
The Government representatives expressed deep concern with vegetable value chains disruption and the significant losses to the farmers, caused by the closure of wholesale markets due to the epidemiologic situation, especially in the South and West of Ukraine.
“The situation is slightly improving, and Ukraine has recently resumed the work of wholesale markets in compliance with specific sanitary conditions,” added Taras Kachka, Deputy Minister of MDETA. “As for exports, Ukraine had not introduced any restrictions, except a temporary ban for export of buckwheat until 1 July 2020. Despite the unfavorable situation with the export of cereals, caused by restrictions in some other countries of the Black Sea region, Ukraine continues to fulfill its obligations”.
Mr. Jehle reassured the Ministry’s representatives that FAO stands ready to provide continuous technical expertise to the Ukrainian Government in support of national food security, during the COVID-19 crisis, and promotion of climate-smart agriculture practices under conditions of droughts in southern regions of the country.