Canadian Foodgrains Bank transfers resources (food or money) to the overseas partners of Foodgrains Bank members. The steps below are typical:
- Identification of need
An overseas partner, usually a church or church-based relief or development agency, recognizes a need for significant amounts of food which cannot be supplied or purchased by the local community. The partner contacts the local or Canadian office of a Foodgrains Bank member to request assistance.
- Project design
The overseas partner and Foodgrains Bank member church develop a project proposal to provide appropriate assistance which will be paid for from the member’s Foodgrains Bank account. Foodgrains Bank staff can assist with the development or arrange for consultants.
- Project proposal
The Foodgrains Bank member submits a project proposal to the Foodgrains Bank.
- Project review
Foodgrains Bank staff review the proposal to ensure that it conforms with existing policies and that the member has the resources to fund the project.
- Procurement/shipping/funds transfer
If the project involves purchasing food overseas, Foodgrains Bank staff review quotes obtained by the partner in the region and compare with world market prices to ensure good value is being received.
- Port/customs clearance/inland transportation
Once food has arrived in the overseas port, the partner takes ownership of, and responsibility for, the food and its transportation to the distribution sites. Foodgrains Bank or member staff can provide recommendations or assistance if the partner is inexperienced in the process.
- Project implementation
The partner is responsible implementing the project.
Monitoring is carried out at several stages and may focus on port clearance, inland transport and handling, distribution, market impact, dependency, etc. It is important to define in advance of implementation what will be monitored, how and by whom. Monitoring assistance can be requested from Foodgrains Bank staff or consultants.
- Summary Reporting
The partner prepares a final report for the Canadian member, which provides a copy to the Foodgrains Bank. The report should focus on achievement of project objectives and provide a summary of key impacts compared to the project design. Complete, timely end-use reporting is critical to continuation of Foodgrains Bank programming.
Here is one brief example:
Canadian Foodgrains Bank responded to a request for food aid from Zambia. The call for help had come from people near the city of Choma, located 200 km southwest of the capital city Lusaka. By March, local farmers could see that drought would severely diminish their April sorghum and maize yields. The local Zambian church, who’s Canadian affiliate was a member of the Foodgrains Bank, commissioned their leadership to seek help.
That initial request got logistical discussions underway. The Foodgrains Bank did provide a shipment to Zambia and more specifically to Choma for local distribution. That shipment included 140 metric tonnes of Canadian beans along with 913 tonnes of locally purchased white corn (as well as 18 tonnes of seed corn for the following crop year).
Canadian Foodgrains Bank tracks the movement of its cargo and hires reputable firms to ensure its safe arrival. International surveying companies track and document shipment containers as they arrive at their overseas destinations. Only bonded carriers are allowed to move containers inland, as was the case in Zambia.
Once the shipment arrived by truck, as scheduled in Choma, responsibility for distribution was passed on to a local church worker. Should Zambians need help beyond the five month term of the project, they will continue to work through their local church which will be in constant touch with its Canadian partner.