Hunger in the Balance: The New Politics of International Food Aid

Clapp helpfully reviews the debates surrounding food aid and the changes in policy by the major donors -- the United States, the European Union, Japan, Canada, and Australia, generally in that order -- that have led to a decline in overall aid since the mid-1980s and a trend toward more emergency assistance. Food aid flows bilaterally from donors to recipients but also increasingly goes through the UN World Food Program and through nongovernmental organizations such as churches. The main issues of contention are whether food aid should be used to advance economic development goals, as envisioned by U.S. policies; whether aid levels should depend on supplies from donor countries, which raises the cost and sometimes causes delays in delivery; whether donated food should be sold or given away; the extent to which food aid should include genetically modified products; and how aid should be coordinated from a growing list of donors, which now includes China, India, and South Korea.

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