Care turns down US $46 million food aid

Published: Saturday 15 September 2007

The international charity group Care has turned down a donation of us $46 million a year worth of grain from the us government saying the country's food aid system does "more harm than good".

The us is the only country to practice 'monetised food aid'--a system in which grain is shipped to charities overseas, especially in the developing world. These countries then sell the grain in local markets and invest the proceeds for their own programmes.

Care wants to phase out monetised food aid by 2009. It says the food-aid policy introduces low prices, which local farmers of developing countries fail to compete with. The method often delivers grain to only those who can afford it, rather than the hungry.

The us Agency for International Development, a federal organisation responsible for most non-military foreign aid, however, says assessments are carried out to ensure that commodities do not disrupt local production.

Care's decision comes at a time when there is a heated domestic debate over us food aid policy the country is responsible for almost half of all food donations to the developing world.

The us Congress is currently debating a new farm bill to overhaul its food aid programme.

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