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Forum for the Future of Aid

Southern Voices for Change in the International Aid System Project

The Forum on the Future of Aid is an online community dedicated to research and opinions about how the international aid system currently works and where it should go next

organised by ODI

Women and Food Crises: How US Food Aid Policies Can Better Support their Struggles, A Discussion Paper

Source: ActionAid

The United States is the single largest provider of food aid, supplying about half of total global resources. While there is no doubt that this aid has saved countless lives, the current program is based on an outdated model which is dependent on the shipment of US commodities to developing countries. When its food aid program was created over 50 years ago, the US had 2 substantial excess food reserves. Food aid served as an outlet for those excess stocks while also serving vital humanitarian objectives. Food aid programs were also intended to bolster US political objectives and to create new export markets for US goods. Times have changed, but food aid programs have not.

Furthermore, over the last few decades, food crises have become distressingly common phenomena. Women are often at the center of these emergencies, though the disproportionate impact of hunger on women is too often hidden within the dire aggregate statistics. But the role of women in providing solutions to these crises is also too often overlooked. This discussion paper lays out some of the key issues in modern food crises and explores some opportunities for engaging women more actively in the quest for more effective answers. Among the recommendations made in the report include for donors, the need to stop imposing trade rules and economic policy conditions that make it difficut for African government to support smallholder farmes, and push them towards excessive relaicne on export-driven agriculture at the expense of food crops for local markets. The recommendations for African governments include the need to promote and enforce women’s rights to land, credit, water, seeds and other productive resources.

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Civil society and regional food security Policy Brief No. 2: the role of external donors


External donors have always been important to SADC. Donors work at both the national and regional level to support closer regional integration, in food security amongst other things.

Donors also often prefer region–wide programmes as they appear to offer more efficiency in aid programming than might be the case with a series of relatively small programmes with similar objectives agreed with individual national governments.

The net result is that SADC currently has a larger proportion of its expenditure sourced from donors and a larger number of individual donors than any similar regional organisation. This does create management challenges and SADC and a ‘donor group’ (consisting of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, UK, USA and the EU) meet regularly to ensure that decisions on aid support are informed by the best information available.

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Food Aid Targeting in Ethiopia: A Study of Household Food Insecurity and Food Aid Distributions

Source: Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation, Ethiopia

This paper examines the efficiency of food aid targeting in rural Ethiopia based on empirical evidence from a survey of a nationally representative sample of 4,166 farm households conducted by the Grain Market Research Project (GMRP) of MEDAC in collaboration with the Central Statistical Authority (CSA). The survey was administered in June 1995 and covered the 12-month period from the beginning of the 1995 meher harvest to the beginning of the 1996 meher harvest.

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