Russia is joining the 2012 Food Assistance Convention, which is aimed at reducing world hunger and ensuring food security.

Russia contributes more than $30 million annually ($38 million in 2012, $37.6 million in 2011, $32 million in 2010, $26.8 million in 2009) to the UN World Food Program, the government said in a statement posted on its official website.

The government said "Russia's participation in the Convention will emphasize its status as a donor country and confirm its commitment to carrying out decisions to assist in ensuring global food security and fighting world hunger."

In addition, after joining the Convention, Russia's votes in the International Grains Council will increase from 72 to 77, which will strengthen the country's role as a key player in the organization and will help promote its interests on the world grain market.

Expenditure obligations related to Russia joining the Convention will be financed within the budget allocations provided for the Economic Development Ministry in the federal budget for the latest financial year and planning period for payment of contributions to international organizations.

In order to reduce hunger, increase food security and improve the food status of the most vulnerable part of the population, the Convention calls for fulfilling minimum annual obligations to provide food aid, to be determined in monetary terms or in kind.

Parties to the Convention can determine whether to meet obligations either with money or in kind (in tonnes of grain products) or a combination of the two. The minimum annual contribution in monetary terms can be paid in the currency of the party's choosing.

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