Monday, May 06, 2013

A good question about food aid

Continuing to follow the food aid reform issue that we discussed in April and last year, it is worthwhile to consider the toughly worded question that Cornell professor Chris Barrett asks on this week:
How many of us read a story of disaster striking people half a world away and respond by getting out our checkbooks? Tens of millions of us in any given year, and Americans are especially generous. ... But is anyone foolish enough to go to the local grocery store, buy food and ship it to communities devastated by disaster? Of course not. That would cost much more, take too long to reach people in need, risk spoilage in transit, and likely not provide what is most needed.

Yet with only minor oversimplification, this is precisely what our government’s food aid programs have done since 1954.


Michele Hays said...

The second issue is WHAT we are sending: CSB, essentially animal feed that needs to be fortified. See the MSF campaign Starved For Attention.

Ari said...

I hope we are sending canned goods and non perishables. Otherwise it is a terrible injustice to the donors and the people in need.

max said...

My feeling is; even when it comes to charitable foreign aid, politics and greed get in the way.