Brazil was part of the group of 79 World Trade Organization (WTO) members that adopted a joint statement of commitment in favour of exempting restrictions on food sales for the WFP for humanitarian purposes. This means that potential export prohibition or restriction measures will not be applied to food purchased by the WFP for distribution during emergency operation. Every year, WFP acquires over 2.5 tonnes of food, which amounts to over USD 1 billion. Most of this food is composed by cereals, legumes and special nutritious foods.
“The WFP prizes the quality of the food it acquires for distribution in humanitarian aid actions, and that must always be more important than any restrictions imposed to the procurement of this food”, says Daniel Balaban, Representative of the WFP in Brazil and Director of the Centre of Excellence Against Hunger. “This positioning will allow WFP to access more quality food for our humanitarian aid, including potential Brazilian suppliers”, adds Balaban, who also congratulated Brazil for the initiative.
WFP in Brazil, through the Centre of Excellence Against Hunger, has been supporting the Brazilian Government with the logistics of humanitarian donations to several countries in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. A few examples of countries that received donations are Mali, Algeria, Ghana, Ecuador, Sudan, among others.
The joint statement was released in January 21st, in Geneva. The Brazilian statement may be read in its entirety here.