Food aid to more than double minimum commitment

by Emily Buckley
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LONDON — Food aid provided in 2001-02 by members of the Food Aid Committee (FAC) of the International Grains Council was more than double the members’ total of minimum commitments, according to reports presented at the FAC regular session in London on
December 9-10.

The Food Aid Committee met under the Chairmanship of Amy Winton, division chief of the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. The Committee reviewed members’ food aid operations in 2001-02 under the Food Aid Convention and exchanged information about the amounts likely to be shipped in 2002-03.

Total shipments in 2001-02, in wheat equivalent, were provisionally put at 10.1 million tonnes, only slightly less than the 10.5 million supplied in 2000-01. These shipments are considerably in excess of members’ combined minimum FAC annual commitments of more than 5 million tonnes.

The IGC’s Food Aid Committee members include Argentina, Australia, Canada, the European Community and its member States, Japan, Norway, Switzerland and the U.S.

Leading individual recipients in 2001-02 were Ethiopia, Angola and Bangladesh. Some 70% of total shipments, which were mostly in the form of cereals or cereal products, were to least-developed and other low-income developing countries.

More than 3.5 million tonnes of members’ aid was channeled multilaterally, mainly through the World Food Programme. Some 86% of members’ aid provided under the Convention, and all that was directed to least developed countries, was in the form of grants.

On the basis of provisional information provided by FAC members, the amount of food aid likely to be shipped in 2002-03 was estimated at 8.5 million tonnes.