The Food Aid Convention (FAC), the international agreement that sets out the rules and donor commitments governing food aid for the world’s hungry, is under renegotiation with a deadline of June 2011. The FAC’s outdated governance mechanisms have damaged the Convention’s overall effectiveness and legitimacy. The FAC needs to become more transparent, coordinate better with other organizations, increase stakeholder participation and strengthen arm’s length monitoring and evaluation. It has been suggested that moving the FAC to either Paris or Rome, where it could link to other multilateral organizations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development or the World Food Program, would help overcome the Convention’s governance weaknesses. This brief examines these options, putting forward another option of an alternative structure that would bring together FAC member countries and external bodies with expertise in food aid, food security and humanitarian assistance. With the approach of greater uncertainty in global food security, a renewed, effective, adaptable and credible Convention would make an important collective contribution to global food security. Key Points: The Food Aid Convention (FAC), the international agreement that sets out the rules and donor commitments governing food aid for the world’s hungry, is under renegotiation with a deadline of June 2011. The FAC’s outdated governance mechanisms have damaged the Convention’s overall effectiveness and legitimacy. The FAC needs to become more transparent, coordinate better with other organizations, increase stakeholder participation and strengthen arm’s length monitoring and evaluation. Moving the Convention’s governance to Paris or Rome instead of London has been proposed because of the proximity to related international organizations. Such a move, however, will not address all of the governance problems. The creation of a technical review committee that would foster the necessary coordination with external bodies with expertise in food aid, food security and humanitarian assistance could improve the FAC’s governance and legitimacy regardless of its location.

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