SSWA Development Papers 1803 - Operationalizing the SAARC Food Bank: Issues and Solutions

SSWA Development Papers 1803 - Operationalizing the SAARC Food Bank: Issues and Solutions

Date: 
Friday, November 30, 2018
Type: 
Public information and advocacy materials
Abstract

The SAARC Food Bank (SFB) embodies collective effort of South Asian countries to ensure food security at times when emergencies lead to largescale disruptions in food production, transportation, accessibility and availability. In view of the urgent need for an appropriate institutional architecture to address the ever-rising food security concerns in South Asia, issues of proper operationalization of the SFB have assumed critical importance. This paper enquires into the underlying reasons why this regional arrangement has failed to deliver the expected results and how to raise the efficacy of the SFB in order for it to service its stated mandate of deploying food reserves to affected areas during food emergencies. Based on a comparative study of select international best practices and primary surveys, the paper offers concrete recommendations for determination of thresholds that should define food emergency situations, modalities of distribution of food from the SFB, design of pricing strategies, maintenance of the food stock and ensuring quality of the reserves, derestriction of trade in food grains during emergencies, establishment of a dispute settlement mechanism, and options for institutional tieups with similar outfits.

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