November, 2008

Starving for Change

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The United States government spends over two billion dollars a year on food aid, suppos­edly to help poor, hungry people around the world fight off starvation. However, much of this money is not helping the hungry, but instead supports U.S. farmers, shipping companies, and food manufacturers.

Changes to the current U.S. food-aid programs are needed in order to reduce waste and inefficiencies, and to provide greater support for the hungry in developing nations. Changes that reduce market distortions and provide incentives for farm­ers to produce for their local and regional markets should be encouraged. Food aid will remain a valuable tool to help address humani­tarian needs in times of crisis. But to the extent that current U.S. food-aid programs distort food markets and unnecessar­ily raise the costs of getting aid to hungry people, they should be reexamined and amended.


Citation (Chicago-Style)

Boudreaux, Karol and Daniel Sacks. "Starving for Change," Mercatus on Policy no 30. Mercatus Center at George Mason University. 2008.