PRESS/896: TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said: “I welcome Norway's continued generosity. This new pledge will support developing countries to implement international SPS standards, including using science-based approaches to protect plant, animal and human health. These efforts strengthen the safety and stability of a developing country’s food supply, so thousands of farmers can sell goods in new markets, improving livelihoods.”
Norad Director-General Bård Vegar Solhjell stated: “Food security and enabling viable food systems is a priority for Norwegian development assistance. Norad is proud to support the STDF in its work to ensure that LDCs build capacity and can engage in safe trade, which is one of the keys to economic growth and poverty reduction. The global pandemic emphasizes that we must continue to invest in and scale up safe trading systems.”
The signing of this agreement marks the first time Norad, a directorate under the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is directly contributing to the STDF. Norad's main purpose is “to ensure that Norwegian development aid funds are spent in the best possible way, and to report on what works and what does not work”.
The partnership will support developing countries' efforts to comply with the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement). The STDF will use Norad's contribution to support the development and implementation of collaborative and innovative SPS projects that make safe trade a reality on the ground.
Not including this latest disbursement, Norway has provided CHF 5.2 million to the STDF through multiple agreements since 2007. Overall, Norway has contributed about CHF 41 million to various WTO trust funds over the past 20 years.
To date, the STDF has funded more than 230 projects benefiting LDCs and other developing countries. The contribution by Norway will also strengthen the STDF's coordination platform, connecting diverse stakeholders across agriculture, health, trade and development to share experiences, find opportunities for collaboration and promote a more coherent approach to SPS capacity development.
The STDF was established by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the World Bank Group, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the WTO, which houses and manages the partnership. The STDF responds to evolving needs, drives inclusive trade and contributes to sustainable economic growth, food security and poverty reduction, in support of the United Nations' Global Goals.