Excerpt Of The Day: Making Things Worse In Africa By Giving Them Food

“Now comes Oxfam’s latest report on the causes of hunger, in which the group calls for a rethinking of how to deal with the poor and the hungry in Africa. The report highlights something of an open secret in international circles: that the past 50 years of food aid have actually, in many cases, made matters worse.

How is that possible? Most international food aid is given in the form of imported food, which has to be shipped from far away and takes up to five months to reach its intended beneficiaries. (The real beneficiaries are the farmers in Europe and North America who are able to get rid of their surplus produce.)

One way food aid makes matters worse is by immediately depressing the price of any food that’s produced locally. (Who can compete with free food?) And therefore putting any local farmers who have managed to weather the current famine or conflict or other crisis out of business or relegating them entirely to subsistence farming for their own needs.” — The Time Global Health Blog

Hat tip to Iowa Voice for the excerpt.

Share this!

Enjoy reading? Share it with your friends!