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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

More targeted interventions

Food aid comes from many sources
5.11 The third major change is that food aid no longer necessarily represents a surplus commodity provided by a small number of countries, and is less used as bilateral programme assistance. It now derives from a more diverse range of donor sources and involves substantial quantities of cash for the procurement of food in developing countries for targeted uses (Table 3). By 1994, as trade liberalization began to take hold and food surpluses in developed countries declined, more than 1.5 million tons of food commodities were procured in developing countries (WFP 1995b). The Uruguay Round Agreement is likely to contribute to further reductions in structural surpluses of major foodstuffs in traditional donor countries.
5.12 The rising level of food aid procured in response to a specific need is also related to the rise in emergencies. Today's need for rapid responses to large-scale crises, often in situations where normal government channels have been weakened or destroyed, has led many donors to allocate increased responsibility for management of food aid to multilateral institutions and NGOs. In 1994, multilaterals and NGOs together handled 52 percent of global food aid, compared with 28 percent as recently as 1989. The fastest growth has been in the portion delivered through NGOs; the share of food aid handled by these organizations has risen from 10 percent in 1989 to 21 percent in 1994.
5.13 The relative shift out of programme aid and the increasing role of multilateral institutions and non-governmental organizations in handling food aid has brought with it the added benefit for poorest countries that an increasing share of food aid is offered on grant terms. In the 1960s, 75 percent of food aid was provided on a loan basis, whereas 80 to 90 percent of total food aid was offered on a grant basis by the early 1990s.