Food Assistance and International Trade
The donation and delivery of food assistance is widely viewed as a purely humanitarian endeavor; however, the historical motivations for donor-countries’ food assistance policies are often self-serving. Also, food assistance can generate negative commercial and humanitarian effects in recipient-country markets. Such complications have led to the entanglement of international commercial trade policies and governing architectures with the humanitarian domain of food assistance. Several decades of debate and analysis of these issues have been productive, however, and food assistance policies have evolved to better serve those most in need.
It is worth making a clarification on terminology before proceeding. “Food aid” has traditionally been used to describe “the international sourcing of concessional resources in the form of or for the provision of food” (Barrett and Maxwell 2005). Recent innovations in the way that these resources are provided have led to...
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