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close this bookTackling Hunger in a World Full of Food: Tasks Ahead for Food Aid (WFP)
close this folder5. The evolving nature of food aid and future needs
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentA focus on hungry people, especially in emergencies
View the documentA focus on food-deficit countries
View the documentMore targeted interventions
View the documentDeclining food aid supply
View the documentProjections of food aid requirements

A focus on food-deficit countries

Food air must reach low-income food-deficit countries
5.7 The second trend of the 1990s (linked to the first) is a stronger articulation of a concern-as yet poorly reflected in actual food aid flows-to concentrate food aid on least developed and low-income food deficit countries. The share of global food aid for Low Income Food Deficit (LIFD) countries has fluctuated considerably over time (Table 4). During the 1980s, LIFD countries received between around 90 percent of total food aid. In the 1990s, however, their share has varied between 65 and 88 percent.
5.8 National food insecurity remains a minor determinant of donor food aid allocation decisions. A recent analysis shows that the food security status of recipient countries explains only 7 percent of cross-country variation in per capita food aid transfers (FAO 1994). As a result, the countries that receive the largest volumes of food aid are still not necessarily those inhabited by the largest numbers of hungry people.

Food aid for the needy is declining when it is needed most

5.9 Considered from another perspective, food aid accounted for 20 percent or more of the cereal food imports of LIFD countries during the mid-1980s. In 1995/96, a year of high cereal prices, reduced export subsidies and very low stock levels, food aid is expected to account for only 8 percent of the import requirements of such countries. Food aid for the countries who need it most is declining when they need it most.
5.10 Through the Decision on Measures Concerning the Possible Negative Effects of the Reform Programme on Least-Developed and Net Food-Importing Developing Countries, Ministers negotiating the Uruguay Round intended to avoid possible negative effects of such liberalization. Another international body, the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes, also directed that the World Food Programme (WFP) should concentrate a larger share of its resources to countries in greatest need. More specifically, at least 90 percent of WFP development assistance is to be allocated to low-income food-deficit countries, and at least 50 percent of this to go to least developed countries by 1997 (WFP 1995a).