UN praises G-20 decision to exempt food from export restrictions


UN lauds G-20 decision to exempt agency’s food purchases from export restrictions

4 November 2011 – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed the decision by the Group of 20 (G20) major economies to ensure that the agency’s humanitarian food purchases do not face export restrictions or extraordinary taxes, saying the move would ensure vital food assistance continues to reach people in need.

“Today WFP purchases most of its humanitarian food in 70 different nations, and it’s critical that this food reaches the vulnerable,” said Josette Sheeran, the agency’s Executive Director. “This declaration by the G-20 will ensure that the humanitarian pipeline will flow even during a food crisis.”

The decision was taken during the two-day summit of G-20 leaders in Cannes, France, which ended today.

During the 2008 food price crisis, export restrictions threatened WFP’s ability to provide a lifeline of support to hundreds of thousands of people who were struggling to access food for their families, the agency said.

Participating in the G-20 summit, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the leaders to remain united and steer the world towards a stable global economy and help developing countries achieve their poverty reduction and social development goals.

He stressed the need to raise development funding and urged the G-20 nations to explore all possible options – public, private and innovative sources of financing – to help poor countries achieve their Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the 2015 deadline.

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