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Africa famine crisis Malawi today


... 2006 Tim Feddersen. 1. Africa famine crisis Malawi today. MALAWI - VIDEO ... ton food deficit in Malawi, causing a severe decline in cereal prices and ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Africa famine crisis Malawi today

Africa famine crisis Malawi today
  • Estimated population 12.88m
  • Projected number needing food aid 4.9m
  • Key underlying reasons
  • Drought in parts
  • High food prices
  • Aids about 20 infected with HIV
  • Sale of grain reserves
  • High population density, shortage of land
  • Aid dependence (Oakland institute 2005)

Source BBC 2006
Final Project Famine Relief
  • More than 850 million people are chronically
    undernourished around the world.
  • The chances of saving lives at the outset of a
    relief operation are greatly reduced when food
    is imported.

from speech by USAid director Natsios in May 2005
Is there a relationship between aid and famine?
Is there a causal relationship?
If so, which factor is driving which?
US is largest donor of food aid
Cost of US Food aid
Cost of delivered food aid
Data from US Department of Agriculture, General
Accounting Office, and Bureau of Economic
Food aid addiction?
  • While vast sums of international support are
    needed to save lives, that help carelessly
    applied can make things worse rather than better
    over the long term. Any large-scale
    intervention by definition distorts local
    economicsWhen foreign aid lands, local prices
    collapse, and farmers who have managed to produce
    a surplus find their crop is virtually
    worthless. - BBC 2006
  • Damage to local production in recipient
    countries in 2002/2003 food aid donors
    over-reacted to a projected 600,000 metric ton
    food deficit in Malawi, causing a severe decline
    in cereal prices and hurting local producers
    World Food Program 2004

The White Houses Proposal
  • Starting next year, the White House wants to
    spend one-quarter of its food-aid budget to buy
    overseas goods to feed starving foreigners.
    Currently, it's required to buy that produce from
    American farmers. The administration says the
    change will cut the cost of buying and shipping
    commodities and save 50,000 more lives a year.
  • American agriculture prizes the income it earns
    from food aid and is a powerful constituency
    lobbying Congress to maintain the 1.2 billion
    program. Charities fear that slashing funds spent
    on U.S. commodities would erode the farm sector's
    interest in food aid. They doubt they could win
    as much congressional support for their efforts
    solely on the principle that fighting famines is

Wall Street Journal. Oct 26, 2005.
An argument against direct purchases
  • Bush administration has already reduced food aid
    budget by 40 for 2006 budget, with an increasing
    percentage of the remaining funds to be dedicated
    to emergency response
  • Local purchase of food can have unintended
  • Even relatively small transactions can distort
    the local economy, driving up commodity prices
    beyond the reach of locals who were formally able
    to buy
  • Creates expectations among farmers for future
    purchases, leading to a drop in prices the
    following year due to oversupply

Final Project
  • Your study group will be assigned the role of
    developing a strategic response to the Bush
    administration proposal.
  • You will
  • write a 10-12 page memo to the executive director
    or head of a stakeholder group.
  • A 10 minute presentation you will make in class
    to the other groups in an attempt to persuade
    them to take your position.
  • USAid,
  • OXFAM America, Raymond Offenheiser, President
  • Cargill, William Staley, CEO
  • Catholic Relief Services, Kenneth Hackett