Food aid and food security in the short and long run

Working Paper
[Country experience from Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa]

The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast the experiences from four major recipients of food aid (India, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Zambia) in normal time and after a natural disaster and draw implications for the design of effective food aid and food security policies in Africa. The study summarizes the food and agricultural policies and medium-term outcomes regarding food production, trade, markets, consumption and safety nets, as well as the policy responses to food emergencies. The experiences of the study countries suggest that food aid that supports building of production and market enhancing infrastructure, is timed to avoid adverse price effects on producers, and is targeted to food insecure households can play a positive role in enhancing food security. However, food aid is not the only, or in many cases, the most efficient means of addressing food insecurity. In many cases private markets can more effectively address shortfalls in food availability and cash transfers may be a viable alternative to food transfers in-kind. Thus, most important is a balanced, mutually-reinforcing mix of policies and programs that address both the production and marketing constraints to food availability and that raises the real incomes of the poor and thereby increase their access to food.

Date and language
Nov 2005
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Corporate Author

Agris Subject Categories: 
Food Security
Physical Location: 
FPMU Documentation Center
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