The Future of Food Aid: A Policy Review

Books or book chapters
January 1998
Clay Edward, J., Nita Pillai and Charlotte Benson
This study of food aid has three aspects. The first is a review of the humanitarian and developmental case for food aid generally and by DFID in particular. This involves a re-assessment of the evidence on the effectiveness and efficiency of food aid as an aid instrument in providing support to countries affected by food insecurity and in protecting and improving the well-being of poor and vulnerable people in developing countries in terms of livelihoods and nutritional and health status. Second, it surveys donor policy developments within the context of global trade liberalization. The third part of the study considers the implications of recent developments and this reassessment for future international arrangements concerning food aid as well as DFID's own bilateral programme.

The study is based on a review of the considerable amount of evidence on the effectiveness and efficiency of food aid and performance of individual donors that has been brought together in evaluations of food aid and humanitarian assistance provided by the European Union (EU) and bilaterally by its Member States including the UK, other major food aid donors and international institutions. This review has been complemented by detailed statistical analysis of recent trends in food aid, the scrutiny of policy documents and selective interviews with aid officials and NGO staff.

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