Wednesday, August 15, 2007

[Development issues] Does US food aid hurt or help?

The International Herald Tribune has a good article on the debate surrounding US food aid. The prominent NGO CARE is rejecting $45 million a year in federal funding because it believes that the structure and delivery mechanism of US food aid is not only plagued with inefficiencies, but may hurt some of the very poor people it aims to help.

It contends that by flooding the local market with surplus US food, it drives down prices for indigenous farmers and undermines their broader anti-poverty efforts.

World Vision and 14 other charities disagree with CARE'S decision and argues that the system works because it keeps hard currency in poor countries, can help prevent food price spikes in them and does not hurt their farmers.

2 comments:

Steven said...

if you were the leader of a country with rich soil, cheap labor and abundant land, would you think that importing free food was a good idea or bad? Or let's take another example or perhaps put another way, if you were a region abundant with stupid people, would you want to another region to dump lots of other stupid people to help you become smarter? These are the realities of what poor countries face in this crazy planet of ours.

Brian said...

I don't think Africa needs any more foreigners over there who think African countries are 'abundant with stupid people.'