Japan announces ¥240 million food assistance grant to Gambia

Japan has announced plans to contribute ¥240 million (US$2.3 million) in food assistance to the government of Gambia by providing 4,000 to 4,500 tons of rice in efforts to improve food security and the nutritional status of Gambians facing food shortages. This food assistance is part of Japan’s development funding promised to Africa at the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) held on August 27-28, 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Press-release – MOFA (in Japanese)

Japan Nutrition

UK and OCHA hold summit to raise funding to prevent famine in Somalia

International donors committed to supporting the humanitarian situation in Somalia during a High Level meeting in London co-hosted by the UK government and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The UK government didn't specify how much was raised, but said "with additional commitments made at this meeting, Somalia’s partners have now committed some $350 million USD to the Humanitarian Response for 2018", adding that "a number of key donors made clear their intention to confirm substantial new pledges in the next few weeks."

Mark Lowcock, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator commented that, while progress had been made, Somalia continued to face a crisis, unless "substantial new resources" could be found. The event was attended by 31 UN Member States, UN Agencies, international organizations, and non-governmental organisations. 

Press release - UK government 


Spain's foreign minister meets WFP director

The Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation, Alfonso Dastis, met with the director of the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP), David Beasley, to discuss human and food security challenges affecting Yemen, Syria, and the Sahel region. Dastis and Beasley reviewed joint programs and areas of common interest, as well as the new strategic association framework that Spain is currently negotiating with the WFP. According to the Spanish foreign ministry, nutrition and food security issues are among the country's top development priorities.

Press release - MAEC (in Spanish)

Spain Nutrition

Norwegian professors criticize Norway's nutrition and agriculture development policies

Norwegian professors at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) want Norwegian ODA initiatives to be more focused on food, nutrition, and agriculture. Professor Ruth Haug and Associate Professor Ola Westengen highlighted in a recent op-ed three ways for Norway to contribute to addressing food and agricultural challenges in Africa.

  1. Access to food, not production, is the principle reason for why under- and malnutrition is a widespread problem: Many African farmers could produce larger quantities of food, but the population lacks purchasing power. Lifting people out of poverty leads to increased purchasing power and is more efficient at combating undernutrition than increasing national production.
  2. Focusing on regulatory frameworks will create institutions needed for developing countries to pass agricultural policies, facilitating farmers' survival and success.
  3. Knowledge transfer programs, such as Oil for Development, should be initiated in the agricultural sector, in order to show how strong farmers' associations, cooperatives, and public research and public management institutions are essential for building an agricultural sector that is not undermined by international free trade.

Op-ed - Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)

Norway Agriculture Nutrition

South Korea signs agreement with Food Assistance Convention

The South Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs will sign a memorandum of agreement (MOU) with the Food Assistance Convention (FAC) on international food aid. This memorandum will stipulate food assistance disbursements that will target Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Yemen, and Syria, and will help relieve food shortages. Total food assistance disbursed will reach approximately US$30 million.

News article - Yonhap News

South Korea Nutrition

France withdraws from NASAN

France has announced its withdrawal from the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (NASAN), claiming an impact assessment has shown mixed results. The initiative was originally launched within the framework of the G7.

As specified in the conclusions of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for International Cooperation (CICID), France will reorient its ODA towards nutrition, agro-ecology, and pursue a territorial approach of agricultural supply chains. It will also financially support the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), and the World Food Programme (WFP) through the multilateral channel. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: "France continues to work actively on behalf of food security and nutrition, especially in the Sahel. It promotes projects that support family farms, and that increase their resilience in the face of climate and economic shocks, while fostering their integration into markets, and wealth creation."

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

France Agriculture Nutrition

Spanish AECID supports Mauritanian fisheries to foster food security

The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) has announced a €5 million (US$5.5 million) program aimed at improving food security and nutritional standards in Mauritania. Consisting of a series of interventions to strengthen the Mauritanian fishery network, this project aims to disburse up to 13,000 tons of fishmeal per year that will benefit around 320,00 people.

Press release – AECI (in Spanish)

Spain Nutrition

Sweden contributes US$350 million to the WFP

Sweden has contributed more than SEK3 billion (US$350 million) in funding to the World Food Programme (WFP) to tackle famines across the globe. Sweden has long been one of the largest donors of un-earmarked funding to the WFP and advocates for other donors to reduce their earmarked funding in favor of more flexible financing solutions. 

This funding comes in response to the increasing number of people worldwide who are going to bed hungry, which has accelerated for the first time in 15 years. 

News article - Omvärlden (in Swedish) 

Sweden Nutrition

Japan announces ¥260 million in food assistance for Lesotho

Japan has announced it will provide ¥260 million (US$2.4 million) in food support to Lesotho in the form of almost 4,000 tons of wheat flour. Lesotho has suffered from severe droughts in recent years, which has reduced crop yields, raised food prices, and left approximately 180,000 people without enough to eat. The food support is intended to strengthen food security in the country and provide nutrition to the population.

The contribution forms part of Japan’s commitment at the 2016 Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) to promote food security in Africa.

Press release – MOFA (in Japanese)

Japan Agriculture Nutrition

Bread for the World issues policy brief on food assistance reform centering on US

Bread for the World Institute issued a new policy brief, "Advancing Nutrition through Food Aid Reform".  The paper looks at three areas where reforms to US law could lead to better nutrition outcomes: cargo preference, monetization, and flexibility.  These same issues were the subject of a recent House Foreign Affairs Commitee hearing on food assistance reform.

Background paper – Bread for the World