Brazilian government authorizes new international food donations

Brazil approves new law that allows the country to donate up to 250,000 tons of rice to WFP emergency responses. Donations will not endanger the domestic supply of the product 

President Dilma Rousseff signed last June 20 Law 13.001, which increases the maximum amount previously established for donations of food from Brazil to other countries. The new law allows Brazil to donate approximately 250,000 tons of rice for ready consumption to countries facing humanitarian emergencies. Donations will be made by the Brazilian government to the World Food Programme (WFP).

"The possibility of Brazil making new food donations to WFP further strengthens the actions of horizontal cooperation between Brazil and other developing countries," says Daniel Balaban, director of the WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger. According to projections published annually by WFP, in 2014 the organization will need 3.3 million tons of cereals to meet the needs of its programmes. 

This is the third major donation of food for international humanitarian cooperation approved by the Brazilian Congress. In 2009, Brazil donated approximately 45,000 tons of food to Haiti, Cuba, Honduras and Jamaica, to serve those affected by tropical storms Gustav, Hannah and Ike that hit the region. On June 20, 2011, the President signed Law 12.429, which approved the largest Brazilian donation, totaling 320,000 tons of food ready for consumption to countries that were facing food insecurity, benefiting approximately 24,700,000 people in 37 countries - considering the portions distributed by WFP in one month. 

"In this context, Brazil, which until 2009 did not donate to WFP, but had received food from the agency until the 90’s, became the seventh largest donor to the agency in 2012," said the Coordinator-General for International Action against Hunger of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Milton Rondó Filho. Law 13,001 amends provisions of Law 12,429 of 2011, increasing by 250,000 tons the Brazilian donations. 

"The donations made possible by this new law maintains the national efforts to tackle the enormous challenge that humanitarian crises pose to the international community and to guarantee the human right to food, which, being a fundamental right, is universal and should therefore be protected, promoted and provided, in any country, and by all Governments, in a solidary way," Rondó said. 

Donations are operationalized nationally with the support of the National Supply Company (Conab), according to periodic review to provide surpluses of public food stocks so as not to endanger the domestic supply of the product or the service to the people victimized by environmental adverse events in Brazil.