Food aid – risk reduction and crisis prevention

Combating undernourishment and malnutrition is a priority for the SDC. With food aid, it uses humanitarian resources to save lives and alleviate suffering.

The SDC's focus

As a contracting party to the Food Assistance Convention, Switzerland provides food aid and contributes to improving global food security. In this area, Swiss Humanitarian Aid works closely with the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and NGOs in particular. In 2018, Swiss contributions to the WFP totalled over CHF 75 million and benefited some 27 countries. Over 50% of the contributions addressed hunger crises in Africa, with the rest being spent in the Middle East, Asia, as well as Haiti and Colombia.

In recent years, the Swiss Confederation's food aid programme with Swiss dairy products has been converted into a new, more flexible arrangement, with the aim of reaching as many people in need as possible. In 2017, the SDC supported programmes run by 20 NGOs and three Swiss representations in 16 countries by supplying milk powder worth CHF 7 million from Switzerland. A further CHF 13 million went to the WFP. From 2018, all the funding is being channelled to the WFP. For Algeria and North Korea, where milk powder is the best means of intervention, the WFP purchased the products in Switzerland at the export price.

In addition, compensation of CHF 7 million is earmarked to support nutrition projects in the current dispatch period (2017–20). This money is primarily intended for NGOs that previously received support in the form of milk powder supplies from Switzerland.

Background

Over 820 million people in the world are undernourished. The deterioration in the global food situation is predominantly due to long-running conflicts, often exacerbated by climate shocks such as droughts and floods. The worst-affected areas are conflict zones in sub-Saharan Africa, including Somalia, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and north-eastern Nigeria, as well as Yemen and the wider Middle East. People in these countries are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance and rely on food aid.

The WFP works mainly with cash payments. These are used to promote the marketing of locally produced food, with the recipients free to choose how this is done.

The international community is increasingly trying to boost the crisis preparedness of people at risk of hunger, by means of targeted action.

Current projects

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Fairmed - Food Aid Swiss Dairy Products (Cameroon)

01.03.2017 - 31.07.2018

Through the usage of food aid in the form of Swiss dairy products, Swiss Humanitarian Aid contributes to the prevention and treatment of malnutrition, undernourishment, and disease. The SDC’s Humanitarian Aid administers the credit granted by parliament for a yearly amount of some CHF 20 million destined for the purchase of Swiss dairy products and their use for the benefit of the needy. Its task is to ensure a sustainable, targeted, and closely monitored food aid.


Soutien au Dispositif National de Prévention et de Gestion des Catastrophes et Crises Alimentaires au Niger (DNPGCCA) – Phase 5

01.05.2016 - 31.12.2019

Au Niger, plus de 3 millions de personnes sont affectées chaque année par l'insécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle. Ces crises entrainent les ménages dans un cercle vicieux de pauvreté et de vulnérabilité. Pour faire face à ce défi, les autorités du Niger ont créé un dispositif national de prévention et de gestion des catastrophes et crises alimentaires. La Suisse accompagne ce Dispositif afin de soutenir durablement la sécurité alimentaire des populations les plus vulnérables.


WFP Secondment Protection and Gender Advisor

01.06.2015 - 31.12.2016

In Myanmar especially conflict affected and rural populations suffer from moderate to severe malnutrition; but also extreme weather conditions may increase the situation of food insecurity. In recent years there have been reports on protection gaps in the implementation of WFP programmes and women and children are struggling to receive support. The secondment will provide technical support in the domain of protection and gender to the WFP country program.


JPO Programme, Volées 2013-2018, Humanitarian Aid HA

01.09.2013 - 31.12.2019

The aim of the programme is to increase Switzerland's presence within the UN system. This measure also meets the more general aim of strengthening the influence and quality of Switzerland's political dialogue with the target agencies. The JPO programme will eventually serve to intensify this political dialogue and increase Switzerland's capacity to monitor the work of agencies through direct contact with the JPOs recruited through this programme.

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