Listening to the BBC this morning, I heard an intriguing story about a proposed change to the US foreign aid policy. Oxfam America and the US featured prominently in a frank and disturbing discussion of problems created by massive food aid efforts to relieve starvation in Africa.
The US has warehouses in Djibouti, for example, to receive, hold, and eventually distribute food as needed to avert crisis. But close investigation reveals that the programs are, sadly, shadowy subsidies for American farmers. Food that comes from America, shipped overseas, and distributed there in times of need, is not the best way to relieve long-term food needs, many now say. The food delivered is expensive, poorly timed, and very disruptive of local food economies, said an Oxfam spokesman on the broadcast.
Here’s a much older source that tells a similar story. The broadcast should be available and searchable in a day or two.