The Food Aid Convention

The Food Aid Convention has been in operation since 1967 and renewed and/or reformulated over the years. The 1986 Convention was opened for renegotiation in December 1997, following the recommendations in respect of Least-Developed and Net Food-Importing Developing Countries adopted by WTO Ministers at their Singapore Conference in December 1996 and the Declaration on World Food Security and the Plan of Action adopted by the Rome World Food Summit in the same year. The renegotiation was completed in April 1999 and the new Convention brought into force with effect from 1 July 1999.

In June 2004, FAC members undertook a renegotiation of the 1999 Convention “to strengthen its capacity to meet identified needs when food aid is the appropriate response”.  However, the Committee decided this would need to await the outcome of the trade-related food aid issues being addressed in the WTO Doha agriculture negotiations.  In the meantime, members agreed to extend the existing Convention, most recently with effect from 1 July 2009.

Information on donor members’ annual commitments under the 1999 Food Aid Convention are as follows:

Donor country

Thousand of metric tons of wheat equivalent

Argentina

35

Australia

150

Canada

420

European Union

1,320

(*)

Japan

300

Norway

30

Switzerland

40

United States

2,500

(*) Plus € 130 million

Source: Food Aid Convention

The 1999 Convention was set to expire on 30 June 2012. In January 2010, the Food Aid Committee began negotiations for a new Food Assistance Convention, which was adopted in London on 25 April 2012. It was opened for signature on 11 June 2012 and is expected to come into effect on 1 January 2013.