Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Aid yourself

"The US is the world largest donor of food and the only developed country yet to break the link between foreign food aid and supporting its own farmers, but US NGOs say sentiment is moving in favour of reforming US food aid policy, with the focus shifting towards buying food aid in the beneficiary country rather than shipping it from the US." (Thanks Marcy)

1 comment:

Leila Abu-Saba said...

And yet we have so many millions hungry across the nation; and so many more millions obese, not starving, but sick unto death from cheap, bad food.

There are children within shouting distance of my urban California home who depend upon the government free breakfast and lunch program for their daily calories. The government has opened a network of locations in schools and parks to feed these children during the summer when school is closed. Without it, they would go hungry. (Meanwhile in my neighborhood the average home price has fallen to a mere $300,000, although there are many homes still valued at nearly a million dollars, and people whose wealth is so great that they throw out in a day more than the average Indian or African gets to eat)

We do not have a network of government health clinics or a national health insurance program, because that would be "socialism." So if pandemic hits, there is no public health authority in place that could detect it.

We do subsidize agriculture to the cost of hundreds of billions, and we ship all that food to the rest of the world, dislocating food systems in the poorest of nations.

I used to shake my head at the insanity of the Lebanese system (or lack of it); now in my middle age I realize that the American system is equally insane, just more quiet about it.