Monday, February 13, 2006

Ethiopia's food aid addiction

The BBC has a good article on Ethiopia's dependency on foreign food aid. It notes that while aid may be well-intentioned, its effects can sometimes be devastating (and I'm careful to not lump all aid together).

Even good years, some five million Ethiopians need food aid to survive.

"We import huge amounts of grain from abroad. So this will inevitably affect the internal production and markets," said the Deputy Prime Minister Addisu Legesse.
When foreign aid lands, local prices collapse, and farmers who have managed to produce a surplus find their crop is virtually worthless.

They have no money to pay for seed or fertiliser for the following year.

And the cycle continues.

The article also notes that while droughts have always been a fact of life in that region, they occur four or five times more frequently than they used.


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