In recent years, increasing attention has been given to the impact that technical measures, and in particular food safety and agriculture health regulations and standards, have on trade in agricultural and food products. As a result, the World Bank has increased its involvement in this field, through an expanding portfolio of activities. This effort has combined analytical work, awareness creation/raising and training for stakeholders, and direct technical assistance and investment. The involved parties have included ARD, PRMTR, and the Regions, with a considerable amount of this work done in conjunction with other organizations. The activities undertaken by the World Bank in this field cover the following:
Mainstreaming food safety and agriculture health standards in Bank operations: In the past years there has been increased demand from among the World Bank’s clients for policy advice related to standards and for financial and technical assistance in strengthening national (private and public) capacities for quality, food safety and agriculture health management. The Bank has responded to this growing demand by supporting the design and implementation of projects with significant large components in this field.
Awareness raising and training: The World Bank has engaged in capacity-building activities aimed at raising awareness and facilitating dialogue among key stakeholders in developing countries. On-line Standards and Trade courses, delivered since 2004, have provided one platform to facilitate this dialogue and the exchange of experiences among stakeholders from different regions. Over 700 participants from 95 countries have taken part in these e-learning experiences. The online courses benefit from the contributions of expert facilitators from the World Bank and other international organizations, the private sector, academia, and NGOs. In 2008, the Standards and Trade course was delivered during June 2-27, with participants representing about 52 countries. About 20 professionals from different organizations acted as facilitators in this course. Training/workshops on key thematic topics are also part of the activities aimed at creating awareness and information sharing on standards and trade related issues.
Partnerships: Operational work on SPS issues undertaken by the Bank in partnership with other agencies includes support to the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) - a global facility for SPS capacity building and technical co-operation established by FAO, WTO, OIE, WHO and the World Bank. The Bank has also supported the Trade and Standards Practitioners Network, since 2005. The TSPN is a community of practitioner organizations seeking to facilitate a more effective flow of information and experiences among a diverse group of interested organizations, and to analyze the work of membership interventions to develop best or better practices that will enhance developing country capacity to implement market standards. Currently 82 members representing a broad set of organizations, including development agencies, NGOs, academia, research institutions, etc, are part of the network. In 2008, World Bank's Development Grant Council agreed to provide a grant to enable the creation of a Secretariat for the TSPN and to facilitate the implementation of upcoming TSPN activities. Core activities of the TSPN include research, consultative, training, and other standard and trade related activities.
Last updated on Sep 16, 2008