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Eleventh Annual Report of the Intergovernmental Committee, and Review of the Programme in Preparation for the Sixth Pledging Conference 1

160. The Council considered the Eleventh Annual Report of the Intergovernmental Committee (IGC) of the UN/FAO World Food Programme (WFP) to ECOSOC and to the FAO Council, which covered the period 29 April 1972 to 4 May 1973. It consisted of a short covering note, and of the Reports of the IGC's Twenty-second and Twenty-third Sessions.

161. In introducing the report the Executive Director outlined the highlights of WFP's current situation and activities during the period since the Tenth Annual Report. He said WFP had marked its Tenth Anniversary soberly since poverty and hunger were still rife; WFP's resources had reached a new high in pledges for the 1973–74 biennium with $294.6 million pledged and $273 million actually available as of 30 April 1973, thereby permitting commitments of $175 million in 1973; the emergency allotment for 1973 had been increased by the IGC to $15 million, which unhappily might not be sufficient, since the Sahelian Zone situation alone had already absorbed nearly $10 million in WFP emergency aid; WFP was preparing to help also in the rehabilitation phase in the Sahelian Zone; WFP was continuing to help in Bangladesh, making available free its know-how by handling purchases and shipments for bilateral donors and for the Bangladesh Government; inflation throughout the world was affecting WFP costs of purchasing and transport of food, thereby making necessary a target for 1975–76 of $440 million merely to maintain WFP operations at existing levels in real terms; some countries were increasing pledges while the major donor was considering decreasing its pledge in terms of percentage of the total target; decision on the 1975–76 target had been postponed by the IGC until its Autumn 1973 session to await further data on the current food situation and effects of the international financial and inflationary situation. WFP was studying means of increasing its help to the least developed countries and hoped to report on this to the next Conference;meanwhile special missions had visited the Yemen Arab Republic, Afghanistan, Mali and Haiti to see how WFP could help them more in the light of the UNCTAD Resolution, especially with storage and local transport costs; new ways of handling resources were being tried in multiple purpose projects: Cameroon and Togo were two countries in which this flexible method of utilizing food aid was being tried.

162. The Council welcomed the Executive Director's report and expressed satisfaction on the achievements of the Programme. It also congratulated him personally on the extension of his appointment for a further period of three years.

163. As far as the target for 1975–76 was concerned, some members specifically endorsed the $440 million figure mentioned by the Executive Director; others pointed to the need for adopting a realistic and attainable target. It was pointed out that in the light of the world food situation, future pledges would probably not be from expected surpluses but of saleable commodities, which would be a new challenge to donors. The Programme should depend on many, not just a few donors, and pledges from developing countries were especially noteworthy. The Council expressed the hope that the IGC would be able to agree on the level of the pledging target for 1975–76 at its forthcoming session, when more information on the world food situation would be available.

164. There was some discussion of WFP's role in emergencies, one member suggesting that the IGC should discuss and perhaps reconsider the relative proportion of emergency and development aid. WFP was perhaps better geared for the latter and should accordingly give more attention to quasi-emergency and development projects in countries devastated by catastrophes. It was suggested that human resources development projects needed more attention by WFP and throughout the UN system.

1 CL 60/6, CL 60/PV/15 and CL 60/PV/18.

165. It was suggested that WFP, with the help of both donor and recipient countries, should seek new kinds of commodities to include in its food basket. Several members commented on WFP's new emphasis on helping the least developed countries. More protein-rich food should be provided to the most needy. Help should be given to meet problems of storage and internal transport. Developing countries' food problems could not be solved by aid alone, but by helping them to develop their own agriculture. It was stated that WFP should intensify its efforts to help developing countries with non-food items on certain projects.

166. The Council urged both the Director-General and the Executive Director of WFP to continue efforts in furthering cooperation between the two organizations to satisfy the needs of developing countries.

167. The Council expressed approval of WFP's activities during the year under review notably in the Sahelian Zone and in Bangladesh.

168. The Council adopted the proposed resolution leaving blank the amount of the recommended 1975–76 pledging target for later consideration in the light of the current world agriculture situation and the decisions of the Twenty-Fourth Session of the IGC, scheduled to be held in Rome from 3 to 9 October 1973.

169. The Council took note of the Eleventh Annual Report of the Intergovernmental Committee of the World Food Programme.

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