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Fourth Annual Report of the Intergovernmental Committee

71. The Council took note of the Fourth Annual Report of the United Nations/FAO Intergovernmental Committee of the World Food Program to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and to the Council of FAO (document CL 47/7). This report covered the period from 15 April 1965 to 26 April 1966, during which the Program's experimental phase had come to an end and, by decision of the General Assembly of the United Nations and the Conference of FAO, had been placed from 1 January 1966 on a continuing basis for as long as multilateral food aid is found feasible and desirable. It gave an account of emergency operations undertaken by the Program and of progress in the implementation of development projects. The Intergovernmental Committee drew particular attention to the fact that the Program's resources fall far short of the $275 million target for the three years 1966 to 1968 and suggested that the Economic and Social Council and the FAO Council consider appealing to governments for further contributions. In an introductory statement the Executive Director described developments since the Committee's Report had been drawn up.

72. The Council noted that recent production and consumption trends had intensified the need for meeting the problem of food shortages. Originally the World Food Program had been established primarily as a constructive method of dealing with the problem of burdensome agricultural surpluses held by producer countries, but at the present time surplus stocks of certain commodities, particularly wheat, no longer existed. The problem created by the declining stocks was receiving urgent examination not only through the United Nations/FAO joint study on multilateral food aid, but also in other bodies, notably GATT and OECD.

73. The representative of the United States of America described the draft legislation, then in the last stages of consideration by Congress, which was designed to take the place of Public Law 480 on its expiry. The drafting of this bill by the Administration had been preceded by an intensive study of projected world food requirements and production possibilities. It had been estimated that if current trends continued it would, within the next two decades, be impossible to cover the food deficit of the developing areas even by utilizing the total production capacity of the United States and all other major food exporters. The unavoidable conclusion was that current trends must be altered, in particular by increasing the rate of expansion of agricultural production in the developing countries themselves. For this reason the bill then before Congress laid repeated stress on the objective of using food aid to increase agricultural productivity. The new United States food program was not based on the concept of surplus utilization, but provided on the contrary for the deliberate production of food to meet food aid requirements. In conformity with the United States policy of increasing assistance provided through multilateral bodies, the new bill referred specifically to the World Food Program, with a statement that the United States should work for the expansion of the Program beyond its established goals.

74. A number of delegations raised points which the Council decided to refer to the Intergovernmental Committee for consideration. Attention was drawn to the need for reducing the time taken in delivering supplies in an emergency and it was suggested that, among other measures, consideration be given to the establishment by the World Food Program of regional and possibly sub-regional food stocks to meet emergency requirements as well as for use in connection with development projects. Such stocks should help to achieve a drastic reduction in the time now taken in moving supplies in an emergency and would thus contribute much to relieve human suffering. The Council's attention was drawn to the relevance of this suggestion to the proposal extensively studied by FAO in the late 1950s for the establishment of food reserves. These studies were being re-examined by the WFP Administrative Unit with a view to assessing their possible bearing on WFP activities. The Council noted that the recent experience of droughts in various countries had underlined the value of emergency assistance from WFP not only for alleviating immediate suffering but also in enabling the recipient countries to tide over the consequential depletion of stocks in the following period. The Council requested the Intergovernmental Committee to examine at a forthcoming Session this question of speeding up delivery of supplies particularly in an emergency. The suggestion, and the IGC's reactions to it, should be taken into account in the preparation of the joint UN/FAO study on multilateral food aid. At the same time the Council requested the Intergovernmental Committee to examine a suggestion that WFP emergency relief should wherever feasible be linked with works projects. The Council also felt that the Committee should examine at one of its forthcoming sessions the possibility of simplifying the Program's procedures. Some speakers welcomed the flexibility that existed for departing from prescribed ceilings, and expressed the hope that in such matters rigidity would be avoided. The importance of projects for increasing agricultural production was strongly emphasized by the Council.

75. Many speakers drew attention to the large and disappointing shortfall in contributions to the Program. The Council noted in this connection that the deficit was equivalent to the “loss” of about 80 development projects. By the end of the IGC's Tenth Session about 70 percent of the resources currently available for development projects would have been committed, and the Program would have little possibility of meeting more than a part of the many further requests submitted to it or known to be under consideration by developing countries. This shortfall was particularly to be regretted in view of the growing need for food aid referred to above. Acting on the suggestion of the Intergovernmental Committee, the Economic and Social Council had already adopted a resolution appealing urgently for further contributions. The necessity of parallel action by FAO was emphasized by the Chairman of the IGC, who participated in the debate.

76. The Council adopted the following resolution:

Resolution No. 1/47



Having considered the Fourth Annual Report of the Intergovernmental Committee of the World Food Program;

Recognizing the dangers inherent in the present world food situation and the value of food aid in promoting economic and social development while at the same time helping to meet food deficits;

Noting that the resources currently available to the World Food Program for the three years 1966–68 amount to only $155 million, whereas the target established by the General Assembly of the United Nations and the FAO Conference is $275 million;

Taking note of the action of the Economic and Social Council in Resolution 1150(XLI) of 4 August 1966, in which the Council appeals urgently to States Members of the United Nations and Members and Associate Members of FAO for further contributions to the Program in commodities, cash or services, with a view to reaching the goal of $275 million for the period 1966–68;

  1. Notes with satisfaction the work so far accomplished by the World Food Program in meeting emergency food needs and in undertaking development projects falling into a wide variety of economic and social sectors, in consultation and co-operation, where appropriate, with other programs and organizations of the United Nations family;

  2. Endorses the appeal of the Economic and Social Council, and expresses the hope that it will receive a generous response from both developed and developing countries;

  3. Requests the Director-General to bring this resolution to the urgent attention of Members and Associate Members of the Organization.

Election of Members of the Intergovernmental Committee

77. In accordance with Resolution 4/65, “Continuation of the World Food Program,” adopted by the Conference at its Thirteenth Session, the Council proceeded to the election of four members of the Intergovernmental Committee of the World Food Program for vacancies that fell to be filled as a result of the expiry of the term of office of Colombia, Jamaica, Netherlands and Nigeria on 31 December 1966.

78. The Council elected Colombia, Korea, Netherlands, Nigeria for a period of three years as from 1 January 1967.

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