The FINANCIAL — The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) is contributing SEK 40 million (CHF 4,544,519) to the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) over the next four years (2015-2018). The facility aims to help developing countries comply with international food safety, animal and plant health standards and gain access to markets.
WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo and the Director-General for Cooperation in Sweden’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Cecilia Björner, signed and confirmed the contribution agreement at a ceremony held at the WTO’s headquarters in Geneva on 30 June 2015, according to WTO.
Welcoming this new funding from the largest donor to the STDF, DG Azevêdo said: “Sweden’s generous donation is very welcome. These funds will stabilise the STDF fund for four years, thereby helping developing and least-developed countries to increase their presence in international markets and better integrate into the world economy. I am grateful for Sweden’s continued support.”
Mrs Cecilia Björner said: “Sweden is very impressed by the work of the STDF in strengthening institutional capacity and technical knowledge regarding sanitary and phytosanitary issues around the globe. The Swedish government wants to continue its support for the STDF’s aim of improving the conditions for safer trade through better food security and environmental protection and for sustainable economic growth through poverty reduction and better market access.”
Since 2002, Sweden has donated CHF 81,158,000 to WTO trust funds.
The STDF is a global partnership working to increase awareness, mobilize resources, strengthen collaboration, identify and disseminate good practice and provide support and funding for the development and implementation of projects that promote compliance with international sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) requirements. Established by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Organization for Animal Health, the World Bank, the World Health Organization and the WTO, the STDF is financed by voluntary contributions. The WTO provides the Secretariat and manages the STDF trust fund.