In Uganda, A dilemma of Aid Dependency
- Created on 08 February 2011 webadmin
- Last Updated on 08 February 2011
Is Uganda’s Karamoja region another non-governmental organization republic, just like Haiti?
Since the early 1960s, aid groups have been providing food aid to the Ugandan region, where there is a fairly big “aid industry,” according to Ben Jones, a lecturer in development studies at the University of East Anglia.
“[A]longside the [World Food Program] there are organisations such as Oxfam, Mercy Corps, Caritas, Save the Children, Kopein, Warriors Squad Foundation, Karamoja Diocese Development Services, Unicef, UN OCHA, World Vision and many more. Many of these NGOs already have a sizeable budget,” Jones says. “According to local sources Mercy Corps, a medium-sized NGO, spends more than 10bn (£3m) Ugandan shillings; Oxfam will spend more than that. So while the WFP may be cutting back, others are still spending.”
Jones refers to a report indicating that WFP, in a bid to curb food aid dependency, is testing a new approach that limits provision of supplies to vulnerable groups and builds local agricultural capacity in Karamoja.
The State of Food and Agriculture: Food Aid for Food Security
- Created on 22 February 2011 P Dogbe
- Last Updated on 22 February 2011
Food aid is one of the oldest forms of foreign aid and one of the most controversial. Food
aid has been credited with saving millions of lives and improving the lives of many more,
but it was also a serious obstacle in the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations.
Nothing seems more obvious than the need to give food to hungry people, and yet
this apparently benevolent response is far more complicated than it seems. Does food
aid do more harm than good? This issue of The State of Food and Agriculture seeks to
understand the challenges and opportunities associated with food aid, particularly in crisis situations, and the ways in which it can – and cannot – support sustainable improvements in food security.
Questions about food aid’s potential to depress commodity prices and erode longterm
agricultural development in recipient countries were first raised by T.W. Shultz (1960). Since then, some development specialists have worried that food aid can destabilize local markets, create disincentives for producers and traders and undermine the resilience of food economies.
The possibility that food aid may create “dependency” on the part of recipients is a
long-standing concern of policy-makers in the donor community as well as in recipient
countries. The concern is that food aid, like other forms of external aid, has the potential to influence the incentives of recipients such that short-term benefits erode longer-term strategies for sustainable food security.
It has also been argued that food aid may make recipient governments dependent on foreign resources, enabling them to postpone needed reforms or to abdicate responsibility for the food security of their people. Like any other external resource, food aid may be captured by local elites who – through incompetence, corruption or malevolence – fail to channel it to the intended beneficiaries.
Category: Food Aid
HIV/AIDS, Food Insecurity, and Genetically Modified Food Aid in Southern Africa
- Created on 09 March 2011 P Dogbe
- Last Updated on 09 March 2011
The recent drought and need for emergency food assistance in southern Africa is unlike
similar crises that have emerged in the past. The impact of HIV/AIDS has exacerbated
the problem to catastrophic proportions, creating a new variant of famine. A missing
generation of productive parents is emerging as they die from HIV/AIDS, leaving
grandparents and children burdened with the responsibility of food crop production.
This has led to declines in the area of land planted, crop yields, agricultural knowledge, and household labor. Worsening regional economies and political uncertainty have added to the dilemma. Genetically modified maize as an emergency relief food has also become aparamount concern for countries like Zambia, who do not want it to contaminate local food production and taint export markets that demand genetically modified free foods.