Contributing to world food security
» Home »

  • The objective of the Food Aid Convention 1999, the latest in a long series of such multilateral cooperation instruments since 1967, is to contribute to world food security and to improve the ability of the international community to respond to emergency food situations and other food needs of developing countries.

  • Under the FAC, donor countries pledge to provide specified minimum amounts of food aid to developing countries with the greatest needs, irrespective of fluctuations in world food prices and supplies.

  • FAC donors are encouraged to improve the effectiveness and quality of food aid in support of food security, particularly for the most vulnerable groups, and seek to improve member co-ordination in the field of food aid. An increasing proportion of donors’ operations take the form of purchases from other developing countries or of local purchases, mostly channelled multilaterally.

  • In 2008/09, FAC food aid operations totalled 7.9m. tons, representing an 11% increase from the previous year, the first rise since 2005/06. Donors therefore again significantly exceeded their combined annual minimum commitment of 5.4m. tons. International grain prices and shipping costs declined markedly from the surges experienced in early 2008, although local market prices in several food deficit developing countries remained high. As in the previous year, the bulk of food aid provided under the FAC was supplied in response to emergency situations and protracted relief operations, especially in Africa. Operations in that region, mainly in sub-Saharan countries, totalled 5.3m. tons, equivalent to two-thirds of the total and some 6% more than in the previous year.

  • The FAC is administered by the Food Aid Committee, serviced by the London-based Secretariat of the International Grains Council.

Last revised: Monday 12 April 2010

At the 106th session of the Food aid Committee members agreed not to extend the Food Aid Convention, 1999. Accordingly, this Convention expired on 30 June 2012. On 1st January 2013, a new Food Assistance Convention came into effect, details of which can be found at
© copyright International Grains Council 2019