Over the past decade, global food aid has continued a declining trend. In 2010, the amount of food aid provided globally reached a record low of 5.7 million mt. This decline comes at a time when global challenges of hunger and food price volatility are imposing unprecedented pressure on household family incomes. Meeting immediate food emergency needs continued to be the main priority of donors during the reporting period with 73 percent of total food aid used for that purpose.
Estimates of global hunger suggest that 925 million people were undernourished in 2010 – a 9.6 percent decline from 2009.
While the provision of physical food aid declined during the year, funding arrangements to provide food assistance have become more flexible. Many donors are opting to provide cash resources to facilitate local purchases and to support triangular transactions, as well as for agricultural inputs. The World Food Programme continued to be an important channel for delivering food aid and is playing an expanding role in providing food assistance.
Reviewing the statistics for total deliveries of food aid: countries in sub-Saharan Africa suffered the largest decline in food aid, receiving12 percent or 450,000 mt less than in 2009; while in Asia, food aid deliveries increased by 7 percent and Latin America and the Caribbean by 31 percent – primarily as a result of the unprecedented emergencies in Pakistan and Haiti. In the Middle East and North Africa and in Europe and Commonwealth Independent States, food aid declined by 27 percent and 24 percent respectively.