Food Outlook - April 96

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Since last reported in December, the forecast for food aid shipments of cereals in 1995/96 (July/June) has remained virtually unchanged at 7.6 million tons. However, the estimate for total food aid shipments during 1994/95 has been raised by nearly 500 000 tons to 9.2 million tons, mainly on account of an upward revision of shipments from the EC (Table A-14). This volume compares with 12.6 million tons of cereals in 1993/94 and 15.2 million tons in 1992/93.

The low-income food deficit countries (LIFDCs) are currently expected to receive about 6.5 million tons, or 85 percent of the total cereal food aid anticipated for 1995/96. This share would be similar to that in the previous year, but the actual volume received would be 1.5 million tons or 18 percent lower than in 1994/95. At the current forecast levels, food aid shipments in the form of cereals to the LIFDCs would constitute about 8 percent of their forecast total cereal imports, sharply down from 11 percent in 1994/95 and 13 percent in 1993/94. Within the category of LIFDCs, those in sub-Saharan Africa continue to be the largest recipient of food aid accounting for more than 34 percent of the total, followed by those in Asia with 28 percent.

To date, contributions to the 1995 International Emergency Food Reserve (IEFR), have reached 922 000 tons of cereals and 245 000 tons of non-cereal food commodities. Contributions to the 1995 WFP’s Protracted Refugee Operations (PROs) now amount to some 504 000 tons of cereals and 61 000 tons of other food commodities. Total pledges to the 1996 IEFR by nine donors amount to 280 000 tons of food commodities, a volume similar to that which had been pledged at the same time last year. In addition to the IEFR contributions, some 225 000 tons of food commodities have also been pledged under the 1996 PROs (Table A-13).

Pledges to the regular resources of WFP for the previous 1993-94 biennium amounted to U.S. $ 1 001 million, representing nearly 67 percent of the target of U.S.$ 1.5 billion. Of the total amount pledged, some U.S.$ 651 million was in the form of commodities and U.S.$ 350 million in cash. For the current 1995-96 biennium, total pledges as of December had reached U.S.$ 649 million, representing approximately 43 percent of the target of U.S.$ 1.5 billion. Of the total amount pledged, an estimated U.S.$ 426 million were in the form of commodities and U.S.$ 223 million in cash.

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