Research conducted at the world’s largest collection of banana diversity hosted in Belgium is helping farmers and scientists all over the world to make banana farming more productive, resilient and sustainable. The collection of genetic diversity conserved in the Belgian genebank has celebrated 30 years of service with an event – 30 years of banana diversity hosted in Belgium – attended also by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation, Alexander De Croo.
Bananas are the world's most popular fruit. They are grown in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Belgium, however, (and yes, we do mean Belgium), is home to the largest collection of bananas in the world hosted at the KU Leuven's Laboratory of Tropical Crop Improvement. On 23 January 2017 our country will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the banana genebank. It helps researchers and farmers across the world gain greater insights into banana cultivation.
Belgium ranks 9th in the list of the 10 most important donors of the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). CERF is the flexible fund for humanitarian assistance of the United Nations.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo will allocate €3 million for the reception of South Sudanese refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. The Belgian Development Cooperation will support a two-year programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). In 2016, our country contributed a total of €21.4 million to the humanitarian work of the UN Refugee Agency.
The federal government allocates 100,000 euros to Music For Life, the annual solidarity action of the Studio Brussel radio station. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo announced this in Boom. This contribution is in line with the humanitarian efforts of our country in and around Syria and goes to the NGOs Doctors of the World and Red Cross Flanders.