The European Union Council of Ministers has told the European Commission to better target its food aid programmes “for priority countries highly vulnerable to food security risks and crises,” to ensure that their effects are not frittered away on countries that are more self-sufficient.

The request follows a report from the EU financial watchdog the Court of Auditors that criticised elements of Brussels’ food assistance policies.

It also told the Commission to better coordinate its efforts with semi-independent agencies such as the European Development Fund to “avoid duplication” of effort. Ministers also suggested that the Commission “continue focusing its efforts on (food supply related) capacity building and institutional support to beneficiary countries at central and local levels.”