During the negotiation of the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the SPS Agreement), there was clear recognition of the problems that developing countries would face in complying with the SPS Agreement. The agreement included provisions related to technical assistance and special differential treatment for developing countries. Both topics are discussed in the SPS Committee as a regular agenda item and have been subject to substantive consideration during both reviews of the SPS Agreement, in 1999 and latterly in 2005. The SPS Committee is currently considering proposals to make these provisions more precise, effective and operational. The Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) was formally established in mid-2002 by the Food and Agriculture Organization, World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), World Bank, World Health Organization and World Trade Organization as a financing and coordinating mechanism. The STDF maintains a database which provides information on SPS-related technical assistance and capacity-building projects. From the limited data gathered, it would appear that the focus of the technical assistance provided so far has been knowledge transfer. Only a small minority of the projects reported deal with the strengthening of hard infrastructure such as laboratory facilities. It is also clear that in terms of the overall number and value of projects, animal health lags well behind the food safety sector. The World Bank estimates that annual expenditure by donor agencies on trade-related SPS programmes has been running at some US$ 65 million to US$ 70 million annually. However, there is under-reporting of technical cooperation activities in the STDF database.