The Politics of Poverty

Ideas and analysis from Oxfam America's policy experts

Reforming food aid can save millions, but pride a deadly sin

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Can the Farm Bureau get over itself?

“Exports via food aid are a small drop in the market…Our concern is less about decreasing an important revenue stream for U.S. agriculture. It’s more about the loss of a sense of pride.” ~Veronica Nigh, an economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation in 5/1 Reuters article

A vegetable seller measures bitter eggplants grown in Touba Ngembe for a customer in the village market of Ndiaganiao, Senegal. Photo: Rebecca Blackwell / Oxfam America
A vegetable seller measures bitter eggplants grown in Touba Ngembe for a customer in the village market of Ndiaganiao, Senegal. Photo: Rebecca Blackwell / Oxfam America

 

Dear Ms. Nigh and the American Farm Bureau,

We’re glad you’re proud of supplying the US food aid program. But there are millions of people around the world facing hunger and crisis who might appreciate it if you’d step aside and let Congress and our leaders improve the program.

The program is vital to address hunger around the world, but is desperately in need of reform. It’s inefficient, slow, wastes money, and as a result, doesn’t help nearly as many people as it could.

Maybe you could be gratified by doing the right thing, that is, making sure that food aid supports small farmers and local economies and is delivered more efficiently and effectively.

Doing so might actually help feed an additional 4 million people worldwide, which is truly something of which Americans could be proud.

Sincerely, Oxfam America

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