MIL-OSI Economics: Evaluation praises work of STDF in helping developing countries meet SPS standards

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Source: World Trade Organization

The evaluation, carried out by Project Economics Consulting, states: “Stakeholders, overall, are highly satisfied with the progress and performance of the STDF.” The initiative is contributing to increased SPS capacity across developing countries, and its work largely aligns with its partners and other major SPS and safe trade initiatives, the evaluation underlines.

At a meeting of the STDF Policy Committee on 12 June, chaired by WTO Deputy Director-General Jean-Marie Paugam, STDF partners, donors and experts from developing countries reviewed the evaluation’s key findings and recommendations. Endorsing many of the evaluation’s recommendations for further discussion among STDF members, the Policy Committee affirmed the evaluator’s proposal to harness key strategic opportunities to further strengthen the STDF’s global partnership.

“I’m satisfied and also reassured by the evaluator’s findings,” DDG Paugam said. “The STDF is doing an excellent job in helping developing countries increase their food safety, animal and plant health capacity, protecting health and reaping the benefits from trade. Thanks to the STDF’s work, small businesses can join global and regional value chains.”

Sarah Cahill, Senior Food Safety Officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, said: “FAO appreciates the comprehensive evaluation report. The STDF’s strong focus on SPS capacity is still very valid today as SPS risks and demands are growing globally.” 

Bill Gain, Global Lead for Trade Facilitation at the World Bank Group, said: “The STDF needs to remain responsive and agile to address new and emerging issues related to SPS measures, for instance related to supply chain resilience.”

Members of the Policy Committee also reflected on what the evaluation’s lessons and recommendations mean for the STDF’s next strategy. The current Strategy concludes at the end of 2024. Members of the STDF’s global partnership will meet on 19 June to begin the process of creating a new Strategy for 2025 and beyond.

Deputy Director-General Montserrat Arroyo from the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) said: “The evaluation points to new opportunities to further strengthen the STDF. In addition, the STDF should keep sharing knowledge and build on what exists, which already works very well.”

Francesco Branca, Director of the Department for Nutrition and Food Safety at the World Health Organization (WHO), said: “The report identifies important areas to further develop the STDF, which should be reflected in the next Strategy. This includes strengthening connections between the STDF and others working in SPS capacity development and the broader landscape.”

The external evaluation report can be downloaded here.

About the STDF

The STDF is a global multi-stakeholder partnership to facilitate safe and inclusive trade, established by the WTO together with the FAO, WOAH, WHO and the World Bank Group. It operates as a knowledge platform and funding mechanism for collaborative and innovative SPS projects benefiting developing and least developed countries. The STDF responds to evolving needs and contributes to sustainable economic growth, food security and poverty reduction, in support of the United Nations’ Global Goals. More information on the STDF’s work is available here.

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