FAO/GIEWS - Food Outlook March/April 1997

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Total cereal food aid shipments under programme, project and emergency food aid in 1996/97 (July/June) is forecast to reach 7.5 million tons, unchanged from the previous report (Table A.14). At the current forecast level, total cereal food aid shipments would be about the same as in 1995/96 and over 2 million tons above the minimum commitments of 5.35 million tons agreed under the 1995 Food Aid Convention (FAC), but about one half the level of the early 1990’s.

Food aid estimates for 1995/96 (July/June) have been raised from 7.1 million tons reported in November to nearly 7.5 million tons, mostly on account of higher estimated shipments from the European Community. The estimates for shipments from China, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States have also been increased slightly. Cereal shipments to LIFDCs in 1996/97 are likely to reach 5.9 million tons, almost the same as in 1995/96. Of this total, some 2.5 million tons would be destined for LIFDCs in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The estimate for global food aid shipments in non-cereal food commodities in 1995 (January-December) has been raised marginally since the last report, by about 50 000 tons, to 1.2 million tons, some 460 000 tons, or 28 percent, smaller than in 1994. Smaller shipments of pulses and vegetable oils accounted for most of this decrease. The bulk of the decline occurred mostly in Africa and countries of Eastern Europe and the CIS.

Contributions to the World Food Programme (WFP) administrated International Emergency Food Reserve (IEFR) in 1996 fell to 849 000 for cereals from 908 000 tons in 1995. Similarly, contributions were also reduced for non-cereals, to 198 000 tons from 238 000 tons in 1995 (table A13). In addition, contributions to the 1996 Protracted Refugee Operations (PROs), also directed by the WFP, amounted to 495 000 tons of cereals and 85 000 tons of other food commodities, compared to 535 000 tons for cereals and 58 000 tons of for non-cereals in 1995. As of 31 December 1996, pledges to the regular resources of WFP, which accounts for 98 percent of total food aid deliveries through multilateral channels, amounted to U.S.$ 840 million for the 1995-96 biennium, representing 56 percent of the U.S.$ 1.5 billion target. Of the total amount pledged, an estimated U.S.$ 576 million were in the form of commodities and U.S.$ 264 million in cash.

As regards the future orientation of the food aid programme of the United States, the world’s largest donor, initial proposals (released in February 1997) for the 1998 fiscal year (October/September) suggest a cut in funds for the Food-for-Peace programme, known as PL-480, by U.S.$ 117 million to U.S.$ 990 million. All of the reduction are expected to come from Title I, the concessional sales programme, which is targeted at U.S.$ 123 million compared to U.S.$ 240 million initially appropriated for 1997. It should be noted that the administration has also proposed a U.S.$ 60-million reduction in the current 1997 funding for Title I. Fundings for Title II and Title III are proposed to remain the same as in the 1997 fiscal year, at U.S.$ 837 million and U.S.$ 30 million respectively.
1/ More detailed statistics on cereal and non-cereal food aid shipments are available on the INTERNET at the following URL address: HTTP://WWW.FAO.ORG under Statistical Data Base and then All Databases.

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