In response to the 2007-08 food crisis and as part of its commitment to the L’Aquila Food Security Initiative – the commitment of global leaders to improve world food security—the Government of the Russian Federation established the Eurasian Center for Food Security (ECFS) in March 2012. Hosted by Lomonosov Moscow State University, the Center offers education programs as well as policy and technical recommendations for improved agricultural performance, sustainable rural development, and natural resources management.
At the request of the Government, the World Bank has been providing technical assistance to ECFS – through its Reimbursable Advisory Services – to help enhance the Center’s institutional capacity, and develop its food and nutrition security research agenda focused on the Eurasian region. It supports ECFS’s ambition to evolve into an internationally recognized center of excellence for research and education—one that delivers modern analytical, research and educational products to a broad range of partners and clients. ECFS collaborates with a number of Russia-based, regional and global partners on the research, who all believe that strengthening research and analytical capacity is an important public good and can help countries in the region access a global knowledge base to improve their capacity for food policy implementation. Research partners include International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), International Center for Agriculture Research in Dryland Areas (ICARDA), and other member institutions of the CGIAR system—all mobilized with support from the World Bank. The beneficiaries are many, including Government of the Russian Federation (the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Ministry of Finance), governments of the focus countries (Armenia, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), and the food policy and agriculture development community in the Eurasian region and globally.