The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations will provide 15m dollars in technical assistance to Ukraine to develop its agricultural sector, UNIAN has quoted Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine Olena Kovalyova as saying.
The assistance will be provided as part of the Country Programming Framework signed by the FAO and Ukraine's Agrarian Ministry on 13 July.
"The signing of this framework agreement is a very significant event. This cooperation programme will last until 2019 and cover all key priorities and areas of cooperation between Ukraine and the FAO. The financial needs for the implementation of FAO initiatives in Ukraine are estimated at 15m dollars," the deputy minister said, noting that the UN may act as a key donor, as well as be able to attract other investors in carrying out the project.
According to Kovalyova, the FAO technical assistance to Ukraine will target such areas as the transition by Ukraine to EU sanitary and phytosanitary standards, as well as the creation of public databases of international technical and financial assistance projects eligible for Ukrainian farmers. In addition, the Agrarian Ministry and the FAO plan to launch a programme to promote healthy nutrition in schools.
"We will put in place programmes to improve children’s nutrition in schools, such as offering a 'Vegetable Mix.' The programme envisages supplying schools with vegetable packages for children, with purchases being made from local farmers. Another example [of the programme] is the 'School Milk'. Pilot project, which will first be put in place locally, and then on a country-wide scale," Kovalyova said.
As UNIAN reported earlier, the FAO will also provide assistance to farmers and citizens of rural areas affected by Russia's military aggression in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Thus, in spring the organization, supported by the Canadian government, spent 3m Canadian dollars on assistance to 14,000 small farmers by providing poultry, rabbits, animal feed, as well as seeds for planting potatoes and other vegetables. Last spring, the FAO supplied Ukrainian households in the country's east with potato seeds. In autumn, Ukrainian households targeted in the program received chicks, along with a three-month food supply for them.