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Second Annual Report of the UN/FAO Intergovernmental Committee (IGC) of the World Food Program (WFP)

133. The Council had before it the second annual report of the UN/FAO Intergovernmental Committee of the World Food Program to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and to the Council (CL 43/26). The Executive Director of the Program drew attention, inter alia, to the fact that total pledges now amounted to about $92 million, and thus fell short by some 8 percent of the original target figure of $100 million. He reported that the Government of South Africa had indicated that its pledge to the World Food Program should be considered revoked, the reason given being that the country had withdrawn from membership of FAO. The cash component of about $19.7 million represented 21 percent of the total, as against the proportion of 33.3 percent aimed at. As things stood, it appeared that the Program would have enough cash to cover administrative and operating expenses until the end of 1965, but none for diversified food purchases. Also, if further pledges were not forthcoming, some worthwhile projects already on hand could not be accommodated.

134. In the 15 months that had elapsed since the first annual report was made, the Program had been gradually moving from the stage of project planning and development to that of project operation and evaluation, and a good deal of practical experience had already been gained in these two fields. While, generally speaking, recipient countries had willingly assisted the Program in its assessment of project operations, and donor countries had effectively co-operated in the provision of pledged commodities, services and cash at the times requested, there was still in some respects considerable room for improvement, particularly in regard to some aspects of project preparation, to the speed of negotiating projects, and to the streamlining of procedures for commodity supply. It would, however, be unrealistic to expect that in a program of such novelty, scope and complexity everything would operate smoothly from the outset. In general, the picture was an encouraging one, and most of the problems encountered could eventually be overcome, some of them even at short notice.

135. The experience so far gained in developing and implementing some 135 projects of many different types tended to support the hypothesis that there was a wide scope for food aid administered on a project basis, and that here the Program was particularly well placed, since it could draw on a comparatively greater variety of commodities and on the vast and diverse experience of experts of the United Nations, FAO and other specialized agencies with whom it was closely co-operating. Attention was called to the fact that food-aided development projects could fall under one of the following groups: work projects which make for employment, special feeding, settlement and livestock projects.

136. Governments would be called upon in 1965 to decide the Program's future. Such decision would be taken after consideration of the information to be made available in the five expert studies on multilateral food aid approved by the Intergovernmental Committee and of the Executive Director's preliminary evaluation of the Program's achievement up to the end of 1964. A covering report would also be submitted by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Director-General of FAO containing their observations, which would take into account the five studies and the evaluation paper. This material would be submitted to the Intergovernmental Committee in the spring of 1965, to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the FAO Council at their 1965 summer sessions, and to the General Assembly and the FAO Conference in late 1965, when the final decision would be taken.

137. The Council expressed satisfaction with the progress achieved by the Program since the submission of the Intergovernmental Committee's first annual report.

138. With regard to the current pledge position, the Council expressed the hope that Member Nations and Associate Members that had not yet pledged contributions to the Program would now do so and preferably in the form of cash, in order to enable the original goal of 100 million dollars to be attained; that states already participating in the Program would consider the possibility of converting some pledges made in commodities to pledges in cash as well as the possibility of increasing the total amount of their pledges; and that states that had made pledges to the Program but had not yet fulfilled them should do so.

139. Attention was also drawn to the recommendation by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development that the cash resources of the Program might be enlarged to permit the purchase of additional nutritionally desirable foodstuffs, that such purchases might be directed to food-exporting developing countries and that due account might be taken of these possibilities in considering the future development of the Program.

140. The view was expressed that the Executive Director should pay particular attention to the need for close co-operation in the field with aid-giving agencies operating on a bilateral basis, which was an essential part of the Program's task of exploring all means of achieving productive concentration of food-aid activities designed to promote economic development. Attention should also be paid, to maintaining close and regular contacts with the national administrations of donor countries, in order that every advantage might be taken of seasonal variations in the price of surplus commodities.

141. The Council adopted the recommendations of the Intergovernmental Committee for the amendment of General Regulations C.7(a) and E.27 contained in document CL 43/26 and already adopted by ECOSOC. The revised text is as follows:

Regulation C.7(a)

“7. The organs of the World Food Program shall be:

(a) a United Nations/FAO Intergovernmental Committee of 24 Member States of the United Nations or Member Nations of FAO.”

Regulation E.27

“27. The annual budget of WFP shall be reviewed by the FAO Finance Committee and ACABQ, and submitted together with their reports to the Intergovernmental Committee for approval. The financial reports of WFP shall be submitted to the FAO Finance Committee and to ACABQ. After review by the FAO Finance Committee and by ACABQ they shall be submitted with any comments which these Committees might wish to make to the Intergovernmental Committee for approval.”

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