This article by Natasha Burley in the New York Times concisely explains the harm that misplaced and especially mis-timed food aid can cause for rural regions in developing countries. In a belated response to the Niger tragedy, food aid from rich countries with massive government-subsidized agriculture sectors may be arriving just in time to compete with a bumper harvest from the poor farmers in Niger whose economic success is most essential for sustainable development. Somebody please do something.
[Note. Read quickly. I will remove the link as soon as the New York Times removes the free online version of the article.]