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Food Aid Convention

The European Union (EU) contributes to the international aid given to countries facing emergency food crises. This Convention shall improve the effectiveness of this aid and the coordination of donors at a global level.


Council Decision 2000/421/EC of 13 June 2000 on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Community, of the Food Aid Convention 1999.


The European Union is a member of the International Grains Agreement comprising two distinct legal instruments: the Grains Trade Convention and the Food Aid Convention.

The Food Aid Convention aims at strengthening the capacity of the international community in order to:

  • contribute to global food security;
  • increase the response capacity to food emergencies;
  • improve the response to the needs of the least developed countries.

The Convention was adopted by a set of donor countries: Argentina, Australia, Canada, the United States, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, the EU and its Member States.

Each year, these countries commit to providing a fixed volume of food aid, specifically destined for the least developed countries. Their contribution is calculated in the equivalent of wheat in tonnes, in a monetary value, or by a combination of the two.

The food aid can be provided in the form of food donations (including seeds of food crops) or cash donations for the purpose of purchasing of food.

The list of countries and territories that can benefit from food aid in the case of a food crisis is determined in accordance with the Development Assistance Committee list of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This list includes, among others, the least developed countries (LDCs), low-income countries and net food-importing developing countries.


The Food Aid Convention was adopted in 1995 and was revised for the first time in 1999.


ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Decision 2000/421/EC



OJ L 163 of 4.7.2000

Decision 2010/316/EU



OJ L 142 of 10.6.2010


Council Decision 2011/339/EU of 27 May 2011 establishing the position to be taken by the European Union within the Food Aid Committee as regards the extension of the Food Aid Convention, 1999.

Council Decision 2011/224/EU of 31 March 2011 establishing the position to be taken by the European Union within the International Grains Council with respect to the extension of the Grains Trade Convention 1995.

Last updated: 29.09.2011
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