Food aid – risk reduction and crisis prevention

Combating undernourishment and malnutrition is a priority for the SDC. With food aid, it uses humanitarian resources to save lives and alleviate suffering.

The SDC's focus

As a contracting party to the Food Assistance Convention, Switzerland provides food aid and contributes to improving global food security. In this area, Swiss Humanitarian Aid works closely with the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and NGOs in particular. In 2018, Swiss contributions to the WFP totalled over CHF 75 million and benefited some 27 countries. Over 50% of the contributions addressed hunger crises in Africa, with the rest being spent in the Middle East, Asia, as well as Haiti and Colombia.

In recent years, the Swiss Confederation's food aid programme with Swiss dairy products has been converted into a new, more flexible arrangement, with the aim of reaching as many people in need as possible. In 2017, the SDC supported programmes run by 20 NGOs and three Swiss representations in 16 countries by supplying milk powder worth CHF 7 million from Switzerland. A further CHF 13 million went to the WFP. From 2018, all the funding is being channelled to the WFP. For Algeria and North Korea, where milk powder is the best means of intervention, the WFP purchased the products in Switzerland at the export price.

In addition, compensation of CHF 7 million is earmarked to support nutrition projects in the current dispatch period (2017–20). This money is primarily intended for NGOs that previously received support in the form of milk powder supplies from Switzerland.

Background

Over 820 million people in the world are undernourished. The deterioration in the global food situation is predominantly due to long-running conflicts, often exacerbated by climate shocks such as droughts and floods. The worst-affected areas are conflict zones in sub-Saharan Africa, including Somalia, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and north-eastern Nigeria, as well as Yemen and the wider Middle East. People in these countries are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance and rely on food aid.

The WFP works mainly with cash payments. These are used to promote the marketing of locally produced food, with the recipients free to choose how this is done.

The international community is increasingly trying to boost the crisis preparedness of people at risk of hunger, by means of targeted action.

Current projects

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El Niño – helping the people of Lesotho withstand the challenges of climate change

Altext: Two experts and a local farmer in a drought-ravaged cornfield.

01.07.2016 - 31.12.2016

El Niño signifies unprecedented climate catastrophe for the countries of southern Africa. The drought has destroyed millions of hectares of farmland and the population of an entire region faces the threat of food insecurity. Lesotho was the first country to raise the alarm. The SDC has released a million Swiss francs to support the operations of the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) which also benefits from the provision of Swiss experts. 

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Lesotho
Humanitarian Assistance & DRR
Emergency food assistance

01.07.2016 - 31.12.2016


CHF 1'000'000



No quick fixes: building Somalia’s ability to handle and overcome crises

Somali man carrying a bale of hay on his shoulders.

01.08.2013 - 30.04.2016

With the aim of improving the living conditions of the most vulnerable populations in Somalia, SDC is contributing CHF 6 million to the three-year Resilience Programme of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, which forms part of the FAO’s overall Somalia programme. With innovative monitoring instruments, risk mitigation measures and through close partnerships, the programme paves the way for a transition from humanitarian interventions to sustainable development in large parts of Somalia, including in the south-central region where humanitarian access to the population in need is highly limited.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Somalia
Agriculture & food security
Humanitarian Assistance & DRR
Agricultural development
Agriculture value-chain development (til 2016)
Emergency food assistance

01.08.2013 - 30.04.2016


CHF 7'500'000



Emergency Food and Nutrition Assistance DPRK 2019

18.03.2019 - 31.12.2019

The Emergency Food and Nutrition Assistance DPRK 2019 Project responds to an urgent request of the DPR Korea to extend food assistance to its citizens in 2019, following a poor harvest after a nation-wide heat wave and regional floods in 2018. The assistance will be provided through the World Food Programme (WFP) and targets 50,000 children in the three highly affected provinces of the country, South Hwanghae, Ryanggang and Jaggang for a period of 12 months.


OVCI - Improving nutritional condition of most vulnerable groups in Juba

01.03.2019 - 31.01.2021

Malnutrition among children and other vulnerable groups remains worse as a result of the prevailing food insecurity situation in South Sudan. According to the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for South Sudan, some 1.8 million people – the majority of which are children under five years - face malnutrition. Through this project, Volunteers Organization for International Co-operation (OVCI) intends to address malnutrition of vulnerable children, pregnant and lactating mothers and other destitute persons in Juba County by improving their dietary intake.


Yemen Pledging Conference 2019

20.02.2019 - 30.04.2019

In support of the Humanitarian Response Plan and to reduce the suffering of the Yemeni population, Switzerland will organize a high-level pledging conference on 26 February 2019 together with Sweden and the United Nations for the third time. Since the escalation of the conflict in mid-March 2015, Yemen faced enormous levels of humanitarian needs stemming from years of poverty, intermittent conflict and weak rule of law. Entering the 5th year of war have exacerbated these chronic vulnerabilities, leaving more than 24 million people – more than 80% of the population - in need of humanitarian aid.


Accès aux populations vulnérables grâce au soutien au Service Aérien Humanitaire des Nations Unies (UNHAS)

01.01.2019 - 30.11.2024

L’UNHAS est le service aérien des Nations Unies qui appuie la mise en œuvre d’interventions humanitaires ainsi que du développement économique et social en faveur des populations les plus vulnérables et marginalisées du Niger. L'UNHAS facilite et sécurise au Niger l'essentiel des déplacements des agents des programmes respectifs, leur permettant de rejoindre les régions reculées du pays et leurs populations rapidement et en toute sécurité.


Yemen WFP ICSP, contribution 2019

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2019

In line with the Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) principles, Switzerland recognizes the necessity of predictable and flexible funding to respond to changing needs in humanitarian crises. SDC funding to WFP operations allows the World Food Programme (WFP) to respond proactively and to provide immediate food assistance in life-threatening situations.


Allocation of SDC Funding to WFP Operations in 2019

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2019

In line with the Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) principles, Switzerland recognizes the necessity of predictable and flexible funding to respond to changing needs in humanitarian crises. SDC funding to WFP operations allows the World Food Programme (WFP) to respond proactively and to provide immediate food assistance in life-threatening situations.


Allocation of SDC Funding to WFP Operations in 2019

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2019

In line with the Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) principles, Switzerland recognizes the necessity of predictable and flexible funding to respond to changing needs in humanitarian crises. SDC funding to WFP operations allows the World Food Programme (WFP) to respond proactively and to provide immediate food assistance in life-threatening situations.


Allocation of SDC Funding to WFP Operations in 2019

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2019

In line with the Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) principles, Switzerland recognizes the necessity of predictable and flexible funding to respond to changing needs in humanitarian crises. SDC funding to WFP operations allows the World Food Programme (WFP) to respond proactively and to provide immediate food assistance in life-threatening situations.


Yemen WFP Emergency Operations EMOP 201068 / ICSP, contribution 2018/19

01.12.2018 - 31.12.2019

In line with the Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) principles, Switzerland recognizes the necessity of predictable and flexible funding to respond to changing needs in humanitarian crises. SDC funding to WFP operations allows the World Food Programme (WFP) to respond proactively and to provide immediate food assistance in life-threatening situations.


Mali : ACF-E - Projet d'amélioration de la Sécurité Nutritionnelle dans le cercle de Tombouctou - PASEN

01.12.2018 - 28.02.2021

Au Mali, 34 % des cas de mortalité infantile sont associés à la sous-nutrition. Ce taux est encore plus critique à Tombouctou, où la précarité climatique et économique est couplée à l'insécurité. C'est pourquoi, la Suède et la Suisse joignent leurs efforts pour assurer la prise en charge des besoins nutritionnels urgents d'enfants malnutris et pour renforcer les actions de prévention. Pour assurer la durabilité des interventions, le projet prévoit également une implication plus importante des communautés et des institutions locales dans la prise en char e et révention de la malnutrition.

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