CHINA / National

China, world's 3rd largest food aid donor-WFP
Updated: 2006-07-22 09:54

In the same year it stopped receiving food aid from the World Food Programme (WFP), China emerged as the globe's third largest food aid donor in 2005, according to the organization's latest annual Food Aid Monitor.

Global food aid grew by 10 percent to 8.2 million metric tons in 2005, a slight upturn in an overall declining trend, according to the International Food Aid Information System (INTERFAIS) database, which is hosted by the WFP to track all donations of food aid.

Donations from China totaled 577,000 metric tons and the country accounted for more than half of the rise in overall food aid donations in 2005, with a 260-percent increase on the previous year.

Canada increased its donations by 42 percent to 275,000 tons. Other relatively new donors, such as the Czech Republic, Greece and Poland, doubled or even tripled their support from 2004 to 2005, the WFP said.

The United States remained the world's most generous food aid donor, providing 4 million tons, or 49 percent of all donations. Overall donations from the European Union totaled 1.5 million tons, with the European Commission, Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden significantly increasing their support.

For the first time on record, more than half of all food aid was sent to sub-Saharan Africa, which received 4.6 million tons. Ethiopia again topped the list of countries receiving food aid, with 1.1 million tons, or 13 percent of all food aid delivered in 2005. Other major recipients in Africa included Sudan, Uganda, Eritrea and Kenya.

The nature of food aid is also changing. Food aid for emergencies increased by almost 1 million tons, and accounted for 64 percent of all food aid deliveries.

Wheat and wheat flour were the main commodities donated, followed by coarse grains (mostly maize and maize meal) and rice, the WFP said. Enditem