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Food Safety Net in Developing Countries


Food aid has a long history and is the most important international food safety net program. The magnitude and role of food aid has changed through time, but its mission to address both chronic and transitory food insecurity has remained the same. All food aid donors cite humanitarian relief as their basic distribution criteria, but economic and political considerations have also played important roles in allocation decisions. Food aid volumes have not been sufficient to meet estimated needs in the past. The future of food aid is uncertain. One concern is the increasing cost of food aid as further global trade liberalization reduces or eliminates support prices and food surpluses in donor countries. The goal of the project is to evaluate the effectiveness of the current food aid program in alleviating hunger, estimate what factors influence the level of food aid, and evaluate the potential impact of World Trade Organization (WTO) reforms on the food security of developing countries.

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NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Food insecurity, and the degree to which food aid can relieve hunger, continue to be compelling issues. The study would evaluate various proposed alternatives to food aid as the basis for establishing a fod safety net for low income developing countries.
<P> APPROACH: The report includes several papers and methodologies used for the analysis. These methodologies are not uniform and range from econometric estimation to partial equilibrium simulation models.
PROGRESS: 2005/10 TO 2006/09 <br/>
In response to a directive from OMB, FAS and USAID asked ERS to develop a measure of performance effectiveness for PART assessment of U.S. food aid programs and the implications on food security in aid-recipient countries. I used the data provided by FAS and USAID and then developed different scenarios to measure the impact of the program using the ERS Food Security Assessment model. An effectiveness ratio was calculated which measured the change in the food gap due to USDA or USAID's food aid programs. These results and plans for future work were presented in two meetings during the year to representatives from FAS/USDA and USAID.
IMPACT: 2005/10 TO 2006/09<br/>
Findings from the study prompted a U.S. inter-agency proposal to the G8 countries for funding a pilot import insurance program.

Rosen, Stacey ; Shapouri, Shahla; Trueblood, Michael
USDA - Economic Research Service
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