Malnutrition And Food Aid Programs: A Case Study From Guatemala Page: 45
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major reasons why the United States has an international responsibility
of providing food assistance: 1) it has a moral obligation to provide
for the world's hungry, 2) its national security is endangered by the
existence of poor and hungry, and 3) it is in its own economic interest
that a healthy international economy be maintained, since it exports a
great deal of commodities. These reasons can probably be applied to
all donor countries. Furthermore, as these last two points demonstrate,
recipient countries are not the sole "beneficiaries" of food assistance.
Chafkin (1978: 253) notes that there are three primary objectives of
most food aid programs with respect to the donor's domestic policy, and
All nations, whether developed or underdeveloped, must
deal with the same three conflicting objectives:
(1) to meet balance of payment requirements, which
means increasing exports;
(2) to meet the domestic pressure for lower food
(3) to provide incentives for farmers by keeping
food prices high (through subsidy) in order
to maximize production.
This discussion of food aid is designed not so much to explore all
of the issues raised in its justification, as it is to point out its
confusing and very complex nature. As is to be demonstrated in this
study (and as noted by many such as Manners 1963), the moral and/or
humanitarian question constitutes only a part of this picture with
respect to the socio-economic and political consequences of food aid.
For example, as pointed out by Mitchel B. Wallerstein (1980), approxi-
mately 28 percent of the total United States Official Development Assis-
tance between 1946 and 1976 was provided in the form of food assistance.
This figure represents more than 20 billion dollars which is 80 percent
of the total global food aid (Bard 1972). Even with respect to the
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Rodeheaver, Daniel Gilbert, 1954-; Bates, Frederick L. & Murphy, Arthur D. Malnutrition And Food Aid Programs: A Case Study From Guatemala, report, May 1982; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84342/m1/58/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Public Affairs and Community Service.