FOOD ASSISTANCE COMMITTEE PRESS RELEASE
20 December 2022
Food Assistance Convention: 2021 Annual Narrative Report
In 2021 hunger surpassed all previous records as reported by the Global Report on Food Crises (GRFC). The GRFC published in May 2022 (covering the year 2021)1 indicated that around 193 million people in 53 countries were in crisis or worse (IPC/CH Phase 3 or above) by the end of 2021, with an increase of nearly 40 million people since 2020. The magnitude and severity of food crises in 2021 were mainly driven by protracted conflict and insecurity, economic shocks - related to the COVID-19 pandemic - and weather extremes which exacerbated pre-existing fragilities. Malnutrition remained at critical levels, driven by several factors, including low physical availability and economic and physical access to food, poor child-feeding practices, a high prevalence of childhood illnesses, poor maternal dietary practices during pregnancy and low access to sanitation, drinking water and health care.
The increase in serious and large-scale crises that occurred simultaneously in 2021 and the food crisis that are expected to worsen in 2022 due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, conflicts and low rains in many parts of Africa, emphasizes the continued relevance of the Food Assistance Convention (FAC). The FAC represents a commitment by its Parties2 to contribute to global food security and to improve the ability of the international community to respond to emergency food crises, to save and change lives, to reduce hunger, to improve levels of nutrition, to create livelihoods, and to strengthen the resilience and self-sufficiency of the most vulnerable populations. This 2021 FAC Annual Report presents a summary of the Parties" contributions towards these objectives, as per their individual financial and narrative reports for the year.
In 2021, all Parties fulfilled or substantially exceeded their commitments by collectively contributing over 6,791 million US dollars to the improvement of worldwide food security. Cash-based transfer programming (CBT) continued to receive increased support as the transfer modality for multi-purpose assistance by FAC Parties. The vast majority of total contributions were provided fully in grant form, with a substantial part consisting of earmarked or lightly earmarked contributions, predominately at country or activity level. Multi-year funding and un-earmarked contributions were mainly provided to WFP, and to a lesser extent through the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and to country-based pooled funds (CBPFs). Key responses were supported in collaboration with various agencies and programmes of the United Nations, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, national governments in the developing world, and civil-society organizations. Geographically, food assistance was provided in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Pacific region.
In 2021, the top 10 FAC Recipient Countries were Ethiopia, Yemen, South Sudan, Syria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and Bangladesh.
Compared to the top 10 counties with most people in Crisis, only Pakistan and Haiti (number 9 and 10 respectively) are not included in the top 10 FAC recipient countries.
Andreas Papaconstantinou, Director at the European Commission, and European Union Chair of the FAC in 2022, expressed concern about the high levels of food insecurity, which have kept increasing in 2022, exacerbated by the ripple effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He wishes to thank the FAC members for their contributions to fight global hunger, and emphasises the need to step-up efforts, as the situation is likely to remain critical in the immediate future.
For the full report please see https://www.foodassistanceconvention.org/en/reports.aspx.
- 1 https://www.wfp.org/publications/global-report-food-crises-2022
- 2 Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, European Union, Finland, France, Japan, Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States of America.
(PR FAC Dec 2022)
12th Session of the Food Assistance Committee
London, 15 November 2019
The Food Assistance Committee held its 12th Session in London on Friday, 15 November 2019, under the Chairpersonship of Mr. Philippe Besson, Head of the Multilateral Affairs Division, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland.
The meeting was attended by Parties of the Convention, namely, Canada, Denmark, the European Union, France, Japan, Korea (Rep. of), Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and the United States of America. Additionally, representatives from Portugal, Action contre la Faim (ACF), the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the Trans-Atlantic Dialogue on Food Assistance (TAFAD), the World Food Programme (WFP) and World Trade Organisation (WTO) were present as observers.
The Committee reviewed the global situation regarding hunger and malnutrition and current food emergencies against the backdrop of recent developments including the outlook for world markets for grains, rice, oilseeds and pulses. The IGC Secretariat also presented its two new projects namely the Africa Delivered Price Tool (ADPT) for rice, which aims to improve the transparency of the cost of African rice imports and tool to calculate the total cost of trade in grains and oilseeds.
Members also provided information on responses to food emergencies in the most vulnerable regions and on planned operations and recent policy developments, with particular emphasis on food security.
Concerning other agenda items, the Chairperson gave a synopsis of the 2018 FAC Narrative report to be published in mid-December, and discussed the latest arrangements for the Third FAC joint field mission to Ethiopia in March 2020. The Chairperson thanked Parties for again exceeding their minimum annual commitments. Members also confirmed their intended minimum annual commitments for 2020.
The Committee appointed Ms. Mette Thygesen, Director, Department of Humanitarian Action, Migration and Civil Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Denmark) as the next FAC Chairperson. Ms. Tara Carney, Director, International Humanitarian Assistance Operations Division (Canada) as appointed Vice-Chairperson.
The Session was preceded on Thursday 14th November by a seminar titled The Contribution of Food Assistance to Peace which included interventions by the ACF, Canadian Food Grains Bank, FAO, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), Oxfam, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the WFP. The seminar addressed the current challenges of protecting the populations affected by the crises from hunger and malnutrition and discussed how delivery of food assistance could be leveraged for preventing conflicts and building peace.
PR (FAC Nov 2019)
15 November 2019
The Resilience initiative
An innovative Canada - Rome-Based Agencies (FAO-IFAD-WFP)
10th Session of the Food Assistance Committee
Paris, 7 December 2018
At the invitation of French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Food Assistance Committee held its 10th Session in Paris on Friday 7 December 2018 under the Chairpersonship of Mr. Shuichi Akamatsu, Minister, Embassy of Japan in London.
Mr. Jean-François Pactet, Sub-Director, Human Development, Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs welcomed delegates to the Session.
The Committee reviewed the global situation regarding hunger and malnutrition and current food emergencies against the backdrop of recent developments including the outlook for world markets for grains, rice and oilseeds. Members also provided information on responses to food emergencies in the most vulnerable regions and on planned operations and recent policy developments, with particular emphasis on food security.
Concerning other agenda items, members approved the publication of the 2017 Annual Report and discussed the planning for the 2018 Annual Report. The Chairperson thanked Parties for again exceeding their minimum annual commitments. Members also confirmed their intended minimum annual commitments for 2019.
Members who participated in the June 2018 joint FAC mission to Uganda presented highlights from that trip, and discussed lessons learned from their time in the field. The Chairperson also gave a report on the CFS 45 panel discussion he participated in titled "Working together against food crises" organised by EU, FAO and WFP.
With regard to the appointment of officers for 2019, Dr Olivier Bangerter, Deputy Head of the Multilateral Division of the Humanitarian Aid, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland was appointed Chairperson for 2019.
The Session was preceded on 6 December 2018 by a seminar entitled "Neglected areas and food assistance" and included interventions from France, WFP and EU who presented DG ECHO's Forgotten Crises Assessment and updated members on the EU Humanitarian-Development nexus approach to encourage humanitarian, development and political/ diplomatic actors to add value and work better together. Canada also presented their resilience programme in three African Countries while ACF delivered a snapshot on food insecurity in Central African Republic. The Chairman also presented the lessons learned from the FAC joint field trip to Uganda.
PR (FAC Dec 2018)
7 December 2018
Lending a Hand
Uganda programs improve the lives of refugees
State Magazine story and photos by Zachary Blackburn
FAC Joint Field Mission to Uganda
June 24 - June 29, 2018
Report by FAC Chair Shuichi Akamatsu.
Joint Field Trip of the Food Assistance Committee
5 July 2018
Based on discussions at the Food Assistance Committee (FAC)'s 9th formal Session on 10 November 2017, FAC members conducted their second joint field mission to Uganda from 24 June 2018 to 29 June 2018 to explore the food security situation in the country.
Participants of the mission, headed by Mr. Shuichi Akamatsu, Minister for Economy, Embassy of Japan in the United Kingdom (Chair), were made up of 16 officials from 8 countries, namely, Australia, the European Union, Finland, France, Japan, Slovenia, Switzerland, and the United States of America. Additionally, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees office (UNHCR) staff joined as Task Force members of the mission.
The mission visited 3 districts in Northern Uganda - Adjumani, Koboko and Arua - and 10 food-assistance-related project sites in those districts.
The mission also had discussions and exchanged views regarding food assistance with officials of the Government of Uganda, local authorities and UN officials in each district, implementing partners of those projects, local people and refugees from neighbouring countries.
For more information on the Food Assistance Convention see: www.foodassistanceconvention.org
PR(FAC July 2018)
Republic of Korea: Accession to the Food Assistance Convention
2 February 2018
On 31 January 2018, the Republic of Korea acceded to the Food Assistance Convention, bringing the total number of members to sixteen. The Republic of Korea's initial minimum annual commitment in 2018 will be 46 billion Korean Won.
The commitments of the Parties to the Food Assistance Convention are set out below:
The Food Assistance Convention is open for accession by all food assistance-providing countries, including new States who were not party to the Food Aid Convention, 1999.
PR (FAC Feb 2018)
9th Session of the Food Assistance Committee
London, 10 November 2017
The Food Assistance Committee convened for its 9th formal Session on 10 November 2017 at the Secretariat of the International Grains Council in London, under the Chairpersonship of Mr. Matthew Nims, Acting Director, Office of Food For Peace, Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance, USAID representing the United States.
The meeting was attended by Parties of the Convention, namely, Australia, Canada, the European Union, Finland, France, Japan, Russian Federation, Spain, Switzerland and the United States of America. Additionally, representatives from Republic of Korea, Action for Hunger (ACF), the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Trans-Atlantic Dialogue on Food Assistance (TAFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) were present as observers.
Participants discussed the unprecedented levels of global food and nutrition insecurity and outlined their current food assistance operations. The adverse role of conflict in driving historic levels of displacement and emergency food needs in places like Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria, was also discussed in depth. The FAO and EU DEVCO presented the first annual Global Report on Food Crises 2017, which was published this year and can be a useful resource to FAC members.
Members confirmed their minimum annual commitments for 2018 and agreed to organise the Committeeâ€™s second joint field mission the location and date is pending confirmation. FAC members conducted the first joint field mission to Haiti in 2016.
With regard to the appointment of officers for 2018, Mr. Shuichi Akamatsu, Minister for Economy, Embassy of Japan, London was appointed as Chair and Katharina Jenny, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation was appointed as Vice-Chair of the FAC for 2018.
The formal Session was preceded on 9 November by a seminar entitled "Sahel â€“ A forgotten food and nutrition crisis," which focussed on the current food and nutrition security situation in the Sahel. An overview of the unique challenges faced in addressing food insecurity in the Sahel was presented by the FAO and Action Against Hunger provided a contextual analysis of the nutrition crisis and response. The U.S., EU, DFID and others discussed the need to work in the humanitarian-development nexus to address the unique challenges faced in the region.
PR (FAC November 2017)
10 November 2017
8th Session of the Food Assistance Committee
London, 9 June 2017
The Food Assistance Committee (FAC) convened for its 8th formal Session on 9 June 2017 at the Secretariat of the International Grains Council in London, under the Chairpersonship of Mr. Matthew Nims, Acting Director, Office of Food For Peace, USAID representing the United States.
The meeting was attended by Parties of the Convention, namely, Australia, Canada, the European Union, Finland, Japan, Russian Federation, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and the United States of America. Additionally, representatives from Republic of Korea, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the Trans-Atlantic Dialogue on Food Assistance (TAFAD), the World Food Programme (WFP) and World Trade Organisation (WTO) were present as observers.
The Committee focussed discussions on the state of food insecurity in the world and how FAC members are responding. Most of the dialogue centred on the four countries facing famine, namely, South Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria and Somalia. The role of conflict in perpetuating food insecurity was particularly noted.
With regard to the FAC Rules of Procedure, members agreed to incorporate a new Rule 14: Committee Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson which establishes a rotational schedule for the appointment of Chairperson and Vice Chairperson, based on the date of member accession, with effect from 1 January 2018.
In line with Rule 12 of the Food Assistance Convention which states that every fifth year after the Convention enters into force, the Committee is to undertake an assessment of its relevance, the Committee discussed the results of a FAC effectiveness survey during a seminar titled The Effectiveness of the FAC which was held the previous day. Members reflected on how the meeting forum communications including the annual FAC Report and joint field missions could better advance the objectives of the Convention.
PR (FAC June 2017)
9 June 2017
Food Assistance Committee Members Respond to Famine Threat in Four Countries
London, 16 March 2017
This year an unprecedented 70 million people across 45 countries will be in need of emergency food assistance, driven by persistent conflict, severe drought and economic instability. Four countries face the threat of famine, putting a combined 20 million people at risk of dire food insecurity according to the UN. The members of the Food Assistance Committee are deeply concerned by the declaration of famine in South Sudan and the risk of famine in Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria.
Acting swiftly in response to UN Secretary General's call for urgent action to avert catastrophe, FAC members are working together with the rest of the international community to help mitigate the impacts of food insecurity in these countries, ensuring the needs of the most vulnerable are addressed. To date in 2017, FAC members have provided USD 1.4 billion in food assistance to Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen.
"These crises are man-made and the direct consequence of conflict," said FAC Chair, Matthew Nims, "We are in unprecedented times of food insecurity, but we don't want it to be the year when famine becomes a more commonplace word."
We call on the governments of the affected countries to help ensure that there is unimpeded humanitarian access to everyone facing famine, or at risk of famine. Without access, the most vulnerable cannot be reached and aid efforts will not be able to help avert escalating catastrophe.
We also call on other donors and members of the international community to provide timely additional humanitarian assistance to save lives and support the people of South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen. Only immediate action will save millions of lives in these countries.
PR (FAC March 2017)
16 March 2017
7th Session of the Food Assistance Committee
London, 11 November 2016
The Food Assistance Committee (FAC) convened for its 7th formal Session on 11 November 2016 at the Secretariat of the International Grains Council in London, under the Chairpersonship of Mr. Matthew Nims, Deputy Director, Office of Food For Peace, Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance, USAID representing the United States.
The meeting was attended by Parties of the Convention, namely, Australia, Canada, the European Union, Finland, Japan, Russian Federation, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and the United States of America. Additionally, representatives from Republic of Korea, Kazakhstan, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Trans-Atlantic Dialogue on Food Assistance (TAFAD), the World Food Programme (WFP) and World Trade Organisation (WTO) were present as observers.
The Committee discussed the growing number of people affected by conflict and climate related emergencies resulting in record numbers of people displaced and food insecure.
Members who participated in the June 2016 joint FAC mission to Haiti presented highlights from that trip, describing the projects funded by FAC members that were visited and discussing lessons learned from their time in the field together including the value of increased coordination and holistic approaches to address food insecurity. Members expressed support for future joint missions to the field to observe and experience programming in action.
Concerning other agenda items, there were discussions on the 2016 Annual Report with consideration to possible streamlining of country reporting. Members also provided updates on efforts to reach out to new donors.
Members confirmed their minimum annual commitments for 2017 and discussed the adoption of a future rotational schedule for the appointment of the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson.
The formal Session was preceded on 10 November by a seminar entitled "The Role of Early Warning and Analysis to Improve Food Security Responses," which explored the use of science, data and early warning to help the food security community better prepare, plan and respond to food insecurity. Presentations were given by Mr. Christopher Hillbruner, Deputy Chief of Party, Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), Washington DC and Mr. Francois Kayitakire, Food Security Assessment Team Leader, European Commission
Joint Research Center (JRC), Ispra, Italy.
PR (FAC November 2016)
11 November 2016
FAC Joint Field Mission to Haiti
June 26 - July 1, 2016
Report by FAC Chair Matthew Nims.
The EU commitments for the World Humanitarian Summit
Istanbul, 23-24 May 2016
On the occasion of the World Humanitarian Summit on 23-24 May in Istanbul, Turkey, the European Union committed to 101 actions which relate to some aspects of its own policies, programmes and funds, and are fully stated at http://ec.europa.eu/echo/partnerships/european-and-international-cooperation/world-humanitarian-summit/eu-commitments_en. Several of the individual commitments proposed as an outcome of the WHS are directly and indirectly related to the objectives and principles of the FAC, to which the EU subscribes and which it endeavours to promote.
Some of these key commitments are:
- The EU will contribute to reduce under-nutrition and stunting among children, particularly under the age of 2 years, and for pregnant and lactating women, with a EUR 3.5 billion overall budget planned for this purpose in the period 2014-20;
- The EU will fully implement the Resilience Action Plan aiming at reducing future humanitarian needs by enhancing strategic complementarity between humanitarian and development action for reducing risks and vulnerabilities of people affected by crisis;
- The EU commits to promote joint analysis of food and nutrition insecurity to enhance response synergy and coherence. This is achieved by involving relevant international partners, including regional organisations, into a global network in charge of analysing the global food insecurity situation, promoting common understanding, facilitating joint planning and paving the way for joint response;
- The EU will launch the Global Assessment and Global Network for Food Insecurity, Risk Reduction and Food Crises Response to enhance impact, improve coordination and promote joint planning and joint response;
- The EU will promote a global response through enhancing coordination and promoting synergies between humanitarian and development actions, including through financial contributions, such as a grant contribution of €539 million to support countries most affected by the current food security crisis caused by El Niño;
- The EU commits to promote global partnership for joint analysis of food crises through the "Global Network for Food Crisis Response", which focuses on the short and long-term impacts driven by natural disasters and climate change on people vulnerable to food and nutrition insecurity.
The EU is strongly committed to significant progress on each of the five core responsibility areas, for which core commitments have been formulated by the UN. As jointly stated by Kristalina Georgieva, Vice-President of the European Commission, Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development and Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management:
"This is the moment to roll up our sleeves and transform the Summit commitments into concrete action. The European Union, as the world's largest donor of humanitarian aid, will play its full part in reshaping aid to better serve people in need and calls on all world leaders to do the same."
DG ECHO Study
Maximising the nutritional impact of Humanitarian Food Assistance
In 2014 DG ECHO commissioned a study to map existing documents and tools relevant to maximising the nutrition component and outcomes of humanitarian food assistance (HFA). The study reviewed policy, guidelines and case studies available online and provided by humanitarian agencies, donors and academic bodies. The findings show that a limited number of documents take nutrition-sensitive criteria into account in HFA programming and identify significant gaps in the policy and operational resources reviewed. Practical recommendations are given to humanitarian agencies and donors to bridge these gaps. These include identifying key principles for nutrition in HFA programming, adopting basic rules / standards relating to Maternal and Child Nutrition and HFA and increasing engagement and participation of the nutrition sector in HFA programming, particularly cash-based programming.
The full review with its annexes and a power point presentation are available at this link.
6th Session of the Food Assistance Committee
London, 17 November 2015
The Food Assistance Committee (FAC) convened for its 6th formal Session on 17 November 2015 at the Secretariat of the International Grains Council in London, under the Chairpersonship of Dr. Florika Fink-Hooijer, Director, Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO), representing the European Union.
The meeting was attended by Parties of the Convention, namely, Australia, Canada, the European Union, Finland, Japan, Russian Federation, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and the United States of America. Additionally, representatives from Brazil, France, Greece, India, Kazakhstan, Portugal, South Africa, Turkey, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Trans-Atlantic Dialogue on Food Assistance (TAFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) were present as observers.
The FAC encourages the participation of observer states with a view to their becoming members in the future.
The Committee reviewed the global situation regarding hunger and malnutrition and current food emergencies against the backdrop of recent developments in world markets for grains, rice and oilseeds, including the impact of El Niño. Members also provided information on responses to food emergencies, planned operations and policy developments, with particular emphasis on activities in the Middle East, including the Syria regional crises, the alarming food security situation in Yemen and South Sudan as well as measures aimed at dealing with the impact of El Niño. Members also discussed future thematic and operational challenges and priorities. Concerning other agenda items, there were discussions on the planning for the 2015 Annual Report, while the Committee received an update on efforts to reach out to potential new members. Furthermore, Members were invited to confirm their minimum annual commitments by 15 December 2015. The new FAC public website was presented to Members by the Secretariat and launched.
With regard to the appointment of officers for 2016, Mr. Matthew Nims of the US has been appointed as Chair and Mr. Mikhail Maslov of Russia has been appointed as Vice Chair of the FAC for 2016.
Ms. Florika Fink-Hooijer, as outgoing Chairperson, expressed her full support for a smooth handover of this responsibility to her successors and, in closing her chairpersonship, she evoked some of the outcomes over the past year, including the finalisation and use of the revamped annual reporting templates, the redesign and launch of the website and the issuance of the joint Statement by the FAC for the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS). Despite good support from a number of Members, the joint field mission did not materialise this year. The incoming Chair has expressed interest in pursuing the possibility of a FAC field mission, possibly in 2016.
The formal Session was preceded on 16 November by a seminar entitled "World Humanitarian Summit," which sought to underscore the key role of the FAC in emphasizing the importance of the food assistance perspective in the WHS process leading to Istanbul through the issuing of a joint FAC Statement on the World Humanitarian Summit. The content of the Statement was discussed in more detail during the Seminar, informed by presentations from the following panellists: Mr Robert Smith, Head of Geneva Office, World Humanitarian Summit Secretariat; Mr Yoshinobu Nagamine, ICRC Head of Unit, External Resources Division in Geneva; and Ms Degan Ali, Executive Director, ADESO.
The FAC plays a key international role in improving the coordination of the global response to emergencies and the provision of humanitarian assistance through cooperation and information exchange on ongoing activities.Â To this end agreement was reached on a joint statement to be submitted to the World Humanitarian Summit.
PR (FAC November 2015)
17 November 2015
JOINT STATEMENT by MEMBERS of the FOOD ASSISTANCE CONVENTION
FOR THE WORLD HUMANITARIAN SUMMIT
Istanbul, 23-24 May 2016
Considering the intensity and range of current humanitarian crises and the unprecedented number of people in need of humanitarian assistance;
Recognising the need to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of humanitarian assistance and to ensure that assistance is provided according to humanitarian principles, embracing a people centred approach where populations affected by food crises are at the heart of the system, where gender and protection concerns are reflected and where donors are held accountable;
Considering that the United Nations Secretary-General has called the first ever World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) that will take place on 23-24 May 2016 in Istanbul and noting that the Summit is a unique opportunity to raise awareness about effective humanitarian food assistance, to discuss ways to innovate and improve aid delivery and to creating a momentum for others - both political and development actors, as well as food insecure countries themselves, to acknowledge their role in preventing and ending humanitarian crises, including hunger and food insecurity;
Affirming that the Parties to the Food Assistance Convention are committed to contributing to world food security and to improving the effectiveness, efficiency, and quality of food assistance in preserving the lives and alleviating the suffering of the most vulnerable populations (Article 1 of the Food Assistance Convention);
Taking into account the relevance of the Food Assistance Convention as a reference policy forum for food assistance, where donors work together to contribute to the common goal of eradicating hunger (Zero Hunger Challenge), while respecting the need to preserve natural resources;
Considering that the annual minimum commitments of the Parties of the Food Assistance Convention are significant and amounted in 2015 to almost USD 3 billion dollars.
The Parties to the Food Assistance Convention consider it essential for the WHS to recognise the importance of the principles of effective and efficient Food Assistance and to take into account the following to ensure that the food assistance needs of the most vulnerable populations are addressed adhering to the following principles (Article 2 of the Food Assistance Convention):
- Assistance should be provided in the most effective and appropriate manner, fully respecting fundamental humanitarian principles, such that the food and nutrition needs of the most vulnerable populations are addressed;
- Assistance should be provided in a way that upholds the dignity, choice and flexibility for beneficiaries to meet their most basic needs, while at the same time guaranteeing greater efficiency, value for money and ultimately improved effectiveness for donors and taxpayers;
- Appropriate measures should be taken to strengthen the accountability and transparency of food assistance policies, programs, and operations, upholding the dignity of beneficiaries of food assistance;
- Assistance should be provided in a manner that protects livelihoods and strengthens self-reliance and resilience, thereby avoiding dependency;
- The role of local actors as key stakeholders in the food assistance response should be encouraged and promoted;
- Assistance should be provided in a way that adds value and fosters technical and policy innovations.
The Parties to the Food Assistance Convention consider it equally essential for the WHS to recognise the importance of the following operational considerations:
- Assistance should be targeted according to the food and nutrition needs of the most vulnerable populations;
- Beneficiaries should be involved in the assessment of their needs and in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of food assistance provided;
- Gender and protection considerations should be systematically mainstreamed into-needs assessment, programme design, and impact analysis of humanitarian food assistance responses;
- The local or regional purchase of food and other components of food assistance should be encouraged whenever possible and appropriate;
- The use of untied cash-based food assistance should be increased based on thorough feasibility and needs assessments;
- Assistance should be provided taking into account the locally driven rehabilitation and development objectives of beneficiary countries, including social safety nets, to support the broader goal of achieving food security;
- The fight against hunger and undernutrition should seek wider partnerships, such as with public and private actors.
The Parties to the Food Assistance Convention strive to ensure a humanitarian system that is fit for purpose. Food assistance, as a significant element of donors' humanitarian budgets, can be a catalyst to drive the system to capitalise on innovations to improve assistance for beneficiaries and donors alike.
Improved assistance is particularly critical in protracted crises, which currently receives the bulk of humanitarian funds. Humanitarian activities should strive to link to development initiatives, reducing the need for humanitarian assistance being provided in response to protracted and recurring crises. The Parties to the Food Assistance Convention see the WHS as an opportunity for humanitarian, development and other key actors to jointly develop solutions to improve planning and programming coherence as well as prevention and preparedness measures to comprehensively address longer-term challenges and root causes of vulnerability.
We look to the Summit to ensure constructive dialogue and concrete actions to address situations of protracted food insecurity and build the resilience of vulnerable populations.
17 November 2015