Among them, Saudi Arabia … 80 countries pledge to export food for humanitarian purposes without prohibitions or restrictions

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A group of about 80 members of the World Trade Organization, including Saudi Arabia, issued a statement yesterday, pledging not to impose restrictions on the export of foodstuffs purchased by the United Nations World Food Program for humanitarian aid.
In its short statement, the group said, “We acknowledge the important humanitarian support provided by the World Food Program, which has become more urgent in light of the Covid-19 epidemic and other crises .. Therefore, we are committed to not imposing bans or restrictions on the export of foodstuffs purchased by the World Food Program.” For humanitarian, non-commercial purposes. “
Among the Arab signatories: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, and the UAE. Among the developed economies: Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Britain and the United States. From European countries: the European Union (27 countries), Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia, Ukraine, Albania, Moldova, and Montenegro.
And from Latin America: Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Ecuador. From Asian countries: Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Brunei Darussalam, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Laos, and Singapore. In addition to a number of African and least developed countries, including: Angola, Chad, Fiji, Gambia, Grenada, Guyana, Mali, and Mauritius.
Al-Eqtisadiah did not receive an answer from the Chinese trade mission in Geneva regarding its position on the statement, which it did not put its signature on.
Since the outbreak of the epidemic, intense discussions have been taking place on export restrictions on food purchases by the World Food Program in the Agriculture Committee of the World Trade Organization in an extraordinary session, as well as in the General Council.
The World Food Program is the United Nations agency charged with providing emergency food assistance and fighting hunger.
According to the program, its efforts focus on providing emergency aid, relief and rehabilitation, development aid and special operations. Two-thirds of its business takes place in countries affected by conflict, where people are three times more likely to be undernourished than those living in countries free of conflict.
The program also provides services to the entire humanitarian community, including the air transportation of passengers through the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service, which flies to more than 250 locations around the world.
Despite its reliance entirely on donations, the program managed to raise eight billion dollars in 2019. The program employs more than 17,000 employees worldwide, including more than 90 percent of the population of the countries in which the program provides assistance.
The program is managed by the 36-member Executive Council. It partners with more than a thousand national and international NGOs to provide food aid and address the underlying causes of hunger.





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