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In the industrialized northern countries, we instinctively believe that food aid is a very worthy cause and many do their utmost to genuinely help in this field. Web sites like the hungersite.com allow you to simply click a link and thereby donate food to someone in need in a developing country. However, there is more to it that selecting on a link.
In fact, if priority is not placed on the political root causes of hunger, sites like this may unwittingly contribute to the harm that has already been inflicted on the poor in developing countries because the poor countries will remain dependent. (Providing free food in emergency situations of course is usually welcome, but we are concerned with systemic root causes of hunger in non-emergency situations here as some one sixth of humanity goes hungry each day in non-emergency situations.)
Last updated Monday, October 31, 2005.
The way the food aid programs of various rich countries is structured may be of concern. In fact, food
aid (when not for emergency relief) can actually be very destructive on the economy of the recipient nation. Dumping food on to poorer nations (i.e. free, subsidized, or cheap food, below market prices) undercuts local farmers, who cannot compete and are driven out of jobs and into poverty, further slanting the market share of the larger producers such as those from the US and Europe.
Read “Food Aid as Dumping” to learn more.
Posted Saturday, November 25, 2000.
With kind permission from Peter Rosset of the Institute for Food and Development Policy (or FoodFirst.org as it is also known), chapter 10 of World Hunger: 12 Myths, 2nd Edition, by Frances Moore Lappé, Joseph Collins and Peter Rosset, with Luis Esparza (fully revised and updated, Grove/Atlantic and Food First Books, Oct. 1998) has been posted here. It describes in detail the issue of food aid and the United States of America’s aid policies, the problems it causes and who it really benefits.
Read “Myth: More US aid will help the hungry” to learn more.
Last updated Monday, December 10, 2007.
Links to web sites and articles that discuss world hunger, the relationship between populations and hunger, of poverty and hunger, agricultural issues, land rights and so on.
Read “World hunger related links for more information” to learn more.