Trade talks for controls on food aid can hurt aid dependent Sri Lanka

World trade talks on agriculture trade can reduce food aid to countries like Sri Lanka, warns the United Nations. World trade talks on agriculture trade can reduce food aid to countries like Sri Lanka, warns the United Nations. World Trade Organisation (WTO) countries are discussing new rules to govern the delivery of food aid, but the United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP) says controls on food aid will hurt the poorest people in the world.

“The simple truth is that food aid commitments and deliveries are nose-diving, while the WTO is discussing their discipline. Please remember that simple fact and that the world’s hungry children are paying the price,” said Executive Director of the WFP, James Morris in a statement released this week.

Sri Lanka for instance, is categorised by the WFP, as a “low income, food deficit country where 25 percent of the population live in poverty.”
The island gets over 17,000 tons of food aid, like cereals and pulses, worth over US$ 4.5 mn a year.

Most of the food aid goes to people in conflict-affected areas where malnutrition levels of children are at least double