Commissioner Georgieva has signed the new Food Assistance Convention – an international agreement to define global rules for food aid by major donors – on behalf of the European Union. It requires members to provide a minimum amount of food assistance, demonstrating an important commitment to addressing world hunger. Its predecessor, the Food Aid Convention, was first negotiated in 1967 and has been regularly updated.
The Commissioner signed the agreement in New York, where she explained ‘the aim of the new Convention is to focus on the most vulnerable populations in an efficient and effective way using a bigger toolbox that now includes cash, nutrition, protection of livelihoods in emergency and recovery situations. The European Union's help is generous and makes a difference – but we also want to make sure that it is adequate to the realities on the ground and accountable to our taxpayers. This is why we made sure that the Convention explicitly notes the importance of accountability and calls on donors to “monitor, evaluate and communicate, on a transparent basis".’
This new Convention has been negotiated by the European Union and 35 countries (all EU Member States plus Argentina, Australia, Canada, Croatia, Japan, Norway, Switzerland and the United States). After the signature by Commissioner Georgieva and the Cyprus Presidency, the agreement should now be ratified by the European Parliament and the EU Member States in the following months and enter into force on 1 January 2013.