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Food Aid as Part of a Coherent Strategy to Advance Food Security Objectives

  • Christopher B. Barrett

    (Cornell University)

This paper outlines a coherent strategy for the use of food aid in addressing food insecurity. It surveys recent literature on poverty traps, the rights-based approach to food security and discusses where food aid fits into an integrated analysis of poverty and food security. The paper distinguishes between transitory and chronic poverty and between ‘safety nets’, designed to prevent people from falling below a certain poverty threshold, and cargo nets, aimed at lifting people out of chronic poverty. The appropriateness of food aid is discussed in the context of three situations: emergency humanitarian assistance, asset protection, and asset building and productivity enhancement. The paper argues that food aid, like all forms of foreign assistance, should first seek to do no harm.

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Paper provided by Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA) in its series Working Papers with number 06-09.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fao:wpaper:0609
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  1. Dasgupta, Partha, 1997. "Nutritional status, the capacity for work, and poverty traps," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 5-37, March.
  2. Bob Baulch & John Hoddinott, 2000. "Economic mobility and poverty dynamics in developing countries," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 1-24.
  3. Donovan, Cynthia & McGlinchy, Megan & Staatz, John M. & Tschirley, David L., 2006. "Emergency Needs Assessments and the Impact of Food Aid on Local Markets," Food Security International Development Working Papers 54566, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  4. Michael Carter & Christopher Barrett, 2006. "The economics of poverty traps and persistent poverty: An asset-based approach," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 178-199.
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