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Food Aid Donor Allocation Decisions After 1990


  • Linda M. Young
  • Philip C. Abbott


Bilateral donations of food aid have been criticized for not responding to the need in recipient countries. U.S. food aid programs have attempted to meet humanitarian objectives while providing limited support to domestic agricultural producers and developing overseas markets, so food aid is now being examined in World Trade Organization negotiations on export competition. This paper investigates if significant policy changes in the mid 1990s by the EU, and more modest modifications to U.S. programs, have resulted in a measurable increase in donor responsiveness to need. A new specification of need is developed, and the role of chronic hunger and violent conflict are also tested as proxies for need. Results indicate that most donors are more responsive to severe shortfalls in production. Additionally, donors appear to be increasingly responsive to need over the 1990s, particularly to recipient countries experiencing violent conflict, but not to the needs of least developed countries. Results indicate that food aid is increasingly additional, an important finding for negotiations on disciplines for food aid. L'aide alimentaire bilatérale a été critiquée parce qu'elle ne répondait pas aux besoins des pays bénéficiaires. Les programmes d'aide alimentaire des États‐Unis ont tenté de satisfaire aux objectifs humanitaires tout en apportant un certain soutien aux producteurs agricoles des États−Unis et en développant des marchés d'outre‐mer, si bien que l'aide alimentaire fait maintenant l'objet d'un examen dans les négociations de l'Organisation mondiale du commerce sur la concurrence à l'exportation. Le présent article examine si les importantes modifications de politiques apportées par l'UE au milieu des années 1990, de même que les modifications plus modestes apportées aux programmes étatsuniens, ont entraîné une hausse mesurable de la sensibilité des donateurs quant aux besoins. Une nouvelle description des besoins est en cours d'élaboration, et le rôle de la faim chronique et des conflits violents est également évalué comme indicateur de besoins. D'après les résultats, la plupart des donateurs sont davantage influencés par un manque à gagner important dans la production. Depuis 1990, les donateurs semblent être de plus en plus réceptifs aux besoins, particulièrement à ceux des pays bénéficiaires touchés par des conflits violents, mais non à ceux des pays les moins avancés. Les résultats ont indiqué que l'aide alimentaire augmente de plus en plus et devient un élément important pour les négociations sur les disciplines à l'aide alimentaire.

Suggested Citation

  • Linda M. Young & Philip C. Abbott, 2008. "Food Aid Donor Allocation Decisions After 1990," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 56(1), pages 27-50, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:canjag:v:56:y:2008:i:1:p:27-50
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7976.2007.00115.x

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Diven, Polly J., 2001. "The domestic determinants of US food aid policy," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 455-474, October.
    2. Barrett, Christopher B, 2001. "Does Food Aid Stabilize Food Availability?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 335-349, January.
    3. Shapouri, Shahla, 1990. "Food Aid: Motivation and Allocation Criteria," Foreign Agricultural Economic Report (FAER) 147994, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    4. Franklin M. Fisher, 1963. "A Theoretical Analysis of the Impact of Food Surplus Disposal on Agricultural Production in Recipient Countries," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 45(4), pages 863-875.
    5. Young, Linda M., 2002. "Options for World Trade Organization Involvement in Food Aid," Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy, Estey Centre for Law and Economics in International Trade, vol. 3(1), pages 1-19.
    6. Barrett, C. B. & Heisey, K. C., 2002. "How effectively does multilateral food aid respond to fluctuating needs?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(5-6), pages 477-491.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maas, Sarah, 2009. "Evaluating the 1996 EU food aid reform: Did it really lead to better targeting?," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51618, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Christian Kuhlgatz & Awudu Abdulai & Christopher B. Barrett, 2010. "Food aid allocation policies: coordination and responsiveness to recipient country needs," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 41(3‐4), pages 319-327, May.
    3. Kuhlgatz, Christian & Abdulai, Awudu & Barrett, Christopher B., 2009. "Food Aid Allocation Policies: Donor Coordination and Responsiveness to the Needs of Recipient Countries," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51686, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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