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Jun 4, 2008

UN aid debate: Give cash, not food?

The Christian Science Monitor reports on how the United Nations' World Food Program, the largest non-governmental distributor of food is considering a switch to distributing cash and vouchers rather than food in some areas.

According to Josette Sheeran, the U.N.'s World Food Program (WFP) executive director described the cash for food concept as a "revolution" in food aid.  She she explained to members of the British Parliament, "[w]e think with this new face of hunger we are going to face situations where there is food on the shelves but people simply cannot afford it and they are thrown into the ranks of the desperately hungry because of that, and some of these protests that you are seeing around the world are really the urban poor who suddenly cannot afford the basic foodstuffs that they could a number of months ago."

The article quotes Peter Smerdon of the WFP in Nairobi, saying that "the increasing amount of cash donated instead of food makes it possible for the first time to consider alternatives to simply shipping sacks of grain. He says the proposal has gone to the agency's board, which meets at the end of this week, for final approval."

For more see: Crilly, Rob. "UN aid debate: Give cash, not food? The United Nations World Food Program meets Tuesday in Rome to discuss the global food crisis." The Christian Science Monitor, 4 June 2008.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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