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International humanitarian food aid in the north-south cooperation: the case of cameroon

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par Alain Christian Essimi Biloa
La Sapienza University of Rome - Italy - Master 2014

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A/A 2013/2014


Facoltà di Scienze Politiche, Sociologia e Comunicazione

Corso di laurea in Scienze dello Sviluppo e della Cooperazione Internazionale (Finance for Development)


Alain Christian Essimi Biloa

n° 1571640

Supervisor Co-supervisor

Massimo Caneva Raffaella Preti

International humanitarian food aid in the North-South cooperation: the case of Cameroon



"A child who dies from hunger is a murdered child."

Jean Ziegler

International humanitarian food aid in the North-South cooperation: the case of Cameroon




I dedicate this thesis to my beloved daughter
Marie Anne Yohanna MINFOUMA ESSIMI


International humanitarian food aid in the North-South cooperation: the case of Cameroon 2014


My heartfelt thanks and appreciation go to my supervisor, Professor Massimo Caneva, for his professional guidance and advices, as well as the generous support, despite his multiple occupations.

I owe special thanks to my lecturers, especially Prof. Roberto Pasca, Prof. Claudia Zaccai, and Prof. Massimo Mamberti, for their brilliant lectures, support and orientations. I am also grateful to the Erasmus Mundus ACP II Programme and the International Relations Office of Sapienza, especially Ms Mattea Capelli for the opportunity and all the support provided during the past two years.

I would warmly thank my classmates and friends Sergio Taibo, Cynthia Sumaili, Leodmila Amone, Abel Mahama, Gérard Aba'a, Sonia Medjo for our tremendous discussions and mutual encouragement. Special thanks to the Diaferio family, Jean Calvin Mbilong, Sylvie Tassi, the «Servizio Universitario Africano» for the reception and guidance in Rome.

I particularly want to acknowledge His Excellency Henri Eyebe Ayissi, Mr and Ms Bela Mengada, and Ms Marie Bernadette Ndjana for their important help.

Special gratitude to my family, my mother Thérèse Biloa, my grandmother Marie Mballa, my uncle Victor Eloundzié; and Sandrine Mballa, Martine Abena, Christelle Nga, Rodrigue Mbolo, Claude Messi, Paul Mballa, Yolande Souga, Gabriel Bothe, Jean Nti for all the love they give me.


International humanitarian food aid in the North-South cooperation: the case of Cameroon 2014


Food security is one of the hobbyhorse of the international community, that continuously mobilizes resources when there is a crisis or natural, human or technological disaster. Providing food aid might thus contribute to help needy communities to recover and survive. To better understand how works the food aid on an international scale, we have decided to focus our thesis on the "International Humanitarian Food Aid in the North-South cooperation: the case of Cameroon."

Food aid is defined as «the international sourcing of concessional resources in the form of, or for the provision of food». Our research try to answer the following fundamental questions: what is the legal structure and framework of international food aid? Who are the actors of the IFA? What are the issues or impacts on these actors? To help us answer these questions, we relied on the "theory of the gift" developed by Marcel Mauss, and which can be summarized as "the obligation to give and the obligation to receive."

Briefly, we can say that the International Food Aid (IFA) is framed by conventions, multilateral and bilateral agreements. The actors in the humanitarian sector share between donors and recipients countries of aid. Agencies and organizations such as the World Food Programme (WFP) manage the multilateral food aid. The primary purpose of this aid is in the short term, to distribute food and thus, save lives in the event of major disasters or crises. However and unfortunately, that food aid is sometimes used by some donor countries as a powerful and formidable political and geo-strategic weapon to encroach on the domestic sovereignty of recipient countries.

Cameroon is a laboratory of IFA. In fact, this country has been and continues to be subject to the whims of nature. Volcanic eruptions, toxic gases, floods and other drought caused Cameroon to declare a state of emergency in some of its regions and launch calls for food donations. In addition, it should be noted that the country is home to thousands of refugees whose countries of origin, Central African Republic and Chad in the lead, face permanent political and military troubles. Cameroon therefore appears prominently in the list of IFA recipient countries.

Key words: Cameroon, International Cooperation, (International) Food Aid, Food Aid/Assistance Convention, Donor and Recipient Countries, Food Dependency.

International humanitarian food aid in the North-South cooperation: the case of Cameroon 2014



AOE: Action Contre la Faim (Action Against Hunger)

CARE Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere

CRS: Catholic Relief Services

CSSD: Consultative Subcommittee on Surplus Disposal

ECHO: European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection office

EU: European Union

Fac: Food Aid Committee

FAC: Food Aid Convention / Food Assistance Convention

FAO: Food and Agriculture Organization

FBI: Food Based Intervention

FFW: Food for Work

GDP: Gross Domestic Product

GMO: Genetically Modified Organism

IFA: International Food Aid

INTERFAIS: International Food Aid Information System

IGC: International Grains Council / International Grain Convention

LAC: Latin America and Caribbean countries

LDC: Least Developed Country

LIFDC: Low Income, Food-Deficit Country

NFIDC: Net Food Importing Developing Country

NGO: Non-Governmental Organization

International humanitarian food aid in the North-South cooperation: the case of Cameroon



OCHA: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

ODA: Official Development Assistance

OECD: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

P4P: Purchase for Progress

UDHR: Universal Declaration of Human Rights

UN: United Nations

UNDP: United Nations Development Programme

UNHAS: United Nations Humanitarian Air Service UNHDR: United Nations Humanitarian Response Depots

USA: United States of America

USAID: United States Agency for International Development

WFP: World Food Programme

WTO: World Trade Organization


International humanitarian food aid in the North-South cooperation: the case of Cameroon 2014


Dedication 3

Aknowledgment 4

Summary 5

List of abbreviations and acronyms 6

Contents 8

Introduction 10

Chapter I: The concept and context of nternational Food Aid ......... 18

I- The concept of Food Aid..................................................... 21

A- Definition of Food Aid.................................................21

B- Composition of Food Aid 24

C- Categories of Food Aid 26

II- The legal basis of Food Aid 31

A- The Food Aid and Food Assistance Conventions (FAC) 31

B- The FAO Consultative Subcommittee on Surplus Disposal 38

C- The World Trade Organization (WTO) 40

Chapter II: The actors of Humanitarian Food Aid 45

I- The major donor countries 46

A- The United States of America 47

B- The European Union....................................................57

C- The rest of donor countries 63

II- The recipient countries 64

A- The African continent 64

B- Asia 68

C- Latin America and the Caribbean Countries 69

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