Pictured: Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Member of the European Commission with responsibility for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response and H.E. Mr. Nicholas Emiliou, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Cyprus to the United Nations, with Gabriele Goettsche-Wanli, Chief of Treaty Section, UN Office of Legal Affairs. Courtesy of Benoit Marcotte/UN Photo.
02/08/2012 - On the occasion of the signature of the new Food Assistance Convention, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva reaffirmed the EU's unwavering commitment to fight hunger. The new Convention increases efforts for efficiency and effectiveness. Commissioner Georgieva stated:
“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 new Food Assistance Convention, which reflects well the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, is an important commitment for all food assistance donors to maximise the effectiveness and efficiency and reduce the number of undernourished people in the word. I call on all parties to ratify the Convention as quickly as possible, so it can make its full contribution to our fight against hunger. “
The European Commission is one of the world's major donors of food assistance. This sector is the single largest its humanitarian aid budget. In 2011 the European Commission provided €509 million for humanitarian food assistance and nutrition projects with 57 partner organisations in 47 countries. Since 2010, the European Commission has supported an estimated 100 million people who face acute food insecurity through its Humanitarian Food Assistance Policy.
The Food Assistance Convention is an international agreement that 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).
Its predecessor, the Food Aid Convention, was first negotiated in 1967 and regularly updated since then. The Convention defines global rules for food aid by major donors: it requires members to provide a minimum amount of food assistance, demonstrating an important commitment among donor states to address world hunger.
To complete the ratification of the new Food Assistance Convention the consent of the European Parliament is required. It is expected that the Parliament's consent will be formally given in November 2012 at the latest, so that the EU can deposit the instrument of ratification by 30 November 2012. If by that date five of the signatories have ratified the new Convention, it will enter into force on 1 January 2013.