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Australia increases support for world food programme



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MINISTER FOR

FOREIGN AFFAIRS M46 Date 20 April 1982

NEWS RELEASE THE HON. TONY STREET, M.P.

*9

AUSTRALIA INCREASES SUPPORT FOR WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME

The M in is te r for Foreign A f f a i r s , the Hon. Tony

S treet MP, announced today that A u s t r a l ia was s u b s t a n t ia l ly

increasing it s support fo r the United Nations World Food

Programme (WFP).

Mr S treet said that over the next three years

A u s t r a lia w i l l increase the amount of wheat and f l o u r

channelled through the WFP from the present level of 80,000

tonnes a year to 200,000 tonnes a y e a r . This w i l l represent

50 per cent of A u s t r a l ia ' s annual commitment of 400,000

tonnes of food grain under the Food Aid Convention. A u s tra lia

w i l l meet the f r e i g h t costs on these shipments.

In a d d itio n , the M in is ter also announced that

A u s t ra lia w i l l provide cash and commodities to the value

of $20 m ill io n to WFP for the 1983-84 calendar year biennium.

One t h i r d of this amount w i l l be provided in cash and the

remaining tw o-thirds in the form of non-grain foods purchased

in A u s t r a l ia . The t o t a l value of A u s t r a l i a ' s pledge to the

WFP for the 1983-84 biennium is estimated at $97 m i l l i o n .

Mr Street said that at the Commonwealth Heads of

Government Meeting in Melbourne and in other in te r n a tio n a l

meetings A u s tra lia had taken a leading role in promoting

world food s e c u rity . He said that the Government's

c ontribution to the WFP was a ta ngible and p r a c tic a l expression

of A u s t r a l i a ' s concern in this a r e a .

The World Food Programme, which has its headquarters in Rome, commenced operations in 1963 and provides support for about 1600 projects in 125 c o u n t r i e s . In the a llo c a tio n

of i t s resources i t gives p r i o r i t y to low-income, f o o d - d e f i c i t

c o u n t r i e s , whose shares in 1981 was 85 per cent of the whole

programme.

The M in is ter also announced that A u s tra lia would

c ontrib ute 50,000 tonnes of wheat or wheat equivalent to the

I n t e r n a t io n a l Emergency Food Reserve (IEFR) for each of the

two years of the 1983-84 biennium. The IEFR is operated by

the WFP to provide quick r e l i e f to developing countries

suffering emergencies as a r e s u lt of natural d isa s te rs ,

c i v i l c o n f l i c t and other disorders. A u s t r a l ia w i l l pay a ll

f r e i g h t costs associated with d e li v e r y of the food aid to

intended b e n e f i c i a r i e s . The cost of these contributions

is estimated at $26 m i l l i o n .