Food Aid in Response to Acute Food Insecurity
This paper reviews the role of food aid in response to humanitarian emergencies. It outlines a set of basic principles for effective food aid interventions, and analyses a number of case studies in humanitarian response. The paper distinguishes between rapid onset and slow onset emergencies and between ‘idiosyncratic’ emergencies affecting individuals or households and ‘covariate’ emergencies affecting entire communities or countries. The lead-time afforded by slow-onset emergencies could be – but usually is not – used to mount early interventions aimed at averting full-scale disasters. Emergency response is too heavily dominated by food aid, especially aid sourced in donor countries, to the neglect of more effective and less costly interventions. What’s more, idiosyncratic shocks are usually overlooked in humanitarian response. The paper draws a number of ‘lessons learned’ from recent experience with different types of humanitarian emergencies. It argues that emergency food aid is often a necessary part of humanitarian response to acute food insecurity, but it is rarely sufficient.
|Date of creation:||2006|
|Date of revision:|
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- Dasgupta, Partha, 1997. "Nutritional status, the capacity for work, and poverty traps," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 5-37, March.
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- Lawrence Haddad & Stuart Gillespie, 2001. "Effective food and nutrition policy responses to HIV|AIDS: what we know and what we need to know," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(4), pages 487-511.
- Christopher B. Barrett, 2006. "Food Aid as Part of a Coherent Strategy to Advance Food Security Objectives," Working Papers 06-09, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
- Barrett, Christopher B. & Holden, Stein & Clay, Daniel C., 2002. "Can Food-for-Work Programmes Reduce Vulnerability?," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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