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Tag Archives: food aid

Can the story on US food aid get any worse?

Hundreds of thousands of malnourished children are receiving poor quality and even harmful food aid because of the slow introduction of more nutritious alternatives, a medical charity has warned.

The US is continuing to donate directly to relief agencies fortified flour mixes of corn and wheat with soya that do not meet international standards agreed in the 1960s…

…older corn-soy blend (CSB) pre-mixed foods donated by the US contained insufficient micronutrients, anti-nutrients that interfered with

Posted in Disaster relief | 8 Comments

US food aid policies create 561 jobs in Kansas, risk millions of lives around the world

I read recently the First Law of Policy Economics: Every inefficiency is someone’s income.

US food aid policy is definitely no exception, and it is riddled with inefficiencies.

Exhibit A: This invitation from a coalition of big US shipping interests to an event in Washington today. At this event, USA Maritime will have tried to convince lawmakers and their staff that ancient and outdated US food aid legislation, which requires virtually all US food aid…

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Disaster relief, Political economy, Trade | Also tagged , , , 18 Comments

What don’t make sense in trade don’t make sense in aid

Common sense principles in international trade are surprisingly useful for aid as well. Here’s a list of overall principles that help explain some of the most discussed aid dos and don’ts on this and other blogs.

1) Don’t trade low value items with huge transport costs. No exporter or importer in their right mind would ship bulky low-value items large distances, which is why things like construction materials are often locally-sourced. Aid examples: Nobody

Posted in Trade | Also tagged , , , 35 Comments

Yes, Cash is Best. Now when will USAID follow its own advice?

These two posters are finalists in a student contest to create public service announcements that tell Americans why giving cash in emergencies is better than giving goods like food, bottled water, or used clothes. (Hat tip to Saundra Schimmelpfennig).

The contest guidelines, provided by the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI), are very clear on why they require entrants to focus on the simple message that giving money is the best way…

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Disaster relief | Also tagged , , , 11 Comments

New UN report says Somali food aid failing to reach the poor (NYT)

Rather than reaching the needy, up to half of Somalia’s food aid ends up in the pockets of radical militants, corrupt bureaucrats and local businessmen, and local UN staff, according to an article in yesterday’s New York Times on the findings of a new UN report.

The report, which has not yet been made public but was shown to The New York Times by diplomats, outlines a host of problems so grave that it

Posted in In the news | Also tagged , , 6 Comments