Advantages And Disadvantages Of Food Aid

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Famine is a serious threat to many developing nations worldwide. It is described as “A set of conditions that occur when large numbers of people in a region cannot obtain sufficient food, resulting in widespread, acute malnutrition.” (Cuny, 1999, p.1) Famine is not directly related to lack of quantity of food, but by a population’s ability to access that food, as well as political judgment that restricts access to that food. Although famine can be sometimes influenced by a nation’s geographical location, in many cases it is caused by other factors, such as government policies that fail to deal with the problem, as well as economic downturns that make food unaffordable. Many have tried to find a solution for the recurring famines in various…show more content…
Because shipping costs are so high, the people suffering from the famine lose a large amount of food in which they would have received if the shipping cost was lower or free of charge. By the time developed countries find out that a country is in famine it could be months before they receive the food because of slow shipping over continents (FAO, 2007a). This is a concern as many people would die in the time the food is being shipped; “time is of the essence in emergency response, both for saving lives and livelihoods and for keeping costs under control” (Lentz, Barrett, Gomez & Maxwell, 2013). Also, the sudden availability of free food from foreign nations weaken and impair local markets and farmers. Because of donors sending food from their country of origin, local stores and farmers in the receiving country or region take a loss as they cannot sell their products with the instant availability of free food. Studies show that instead of going to people who are desperate for it, 25% of food aid is taken and then sold on the market (FAO, 2007a). These statistics show how the ineffectiveness of food aid, as 1/4th of the donated food does not even reach the ones who need it. Another common criticism of food aid is that it helps promote wealth and growth in the donor countries, instead of the developing countries that could use an economical boost. For example, Americans would purchase American food products to
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