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The Economics and Politics of CARE's Decision to Pass Up Millions in U.S. Food Aid

I join my colleague Rachel Nugent in offering Three Cheers for CARE Decision to Forego U.S. Food Aid!
U.S. food aid has a long and complicated history. Most people think of food aid as "doing good"—feeding the starving—and it is often used for this purpose. However, large amounts of food aid are sold to finance development projects, often administered by the U.S. or by NGOs. And, in the process, food aid can actually do harm.

Three Cheers for CARE Decision to Forego U.S. Food Aid

Huge kudos to CARE for taking a bold and reasoned stand on how best to deliver food aid to developing countries. Kudos as well to the New York Times for yesterday's front page coverage of the CARE decision—how remarkable to see food aid so prominently featured in the NYT!—and its other recent coverage (subscription required) of how U.S. policy affects poor African farmers. As the NYT reported:

Bill Easterly and Development

Bill Easterly, in a recent Foreign Policy article, The Ideology of Development (subscription required), writes ominously that "a dark ideological specter in haunting the world," one in which "unelected outsiders imposing rigid doctrines on the xenophobic unwilling" and "favors collective goals such as national poverty reduction, national economic growth, and the global Millennium Dev

French Candidate for IMF Head Would Reform Selection System: AFP

Agence France Presse reported last week that Dominique Strauss-Kahn, France's candidate to head the IMF, told Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva that he wants to reform the IMF--including how the head of the international lender of last resort is selected. Marco Aurelio Garcia, Lula's advisor for international policy, briefed reporters after the two men met. According to AFP:
He said the Socialist party leader and former French finance minister told Lula change was needed in the IMF in "three key areas," including how member states were represented, how its managing director is selected and its operating program....
Strauss-Kahn after his meeting with Lula told reporters, "If I am a candidate, it is because I want to change the IMF."

House Passes Farm Bill, Thumbs Its Nose at Poorest Trading Partners and WTO

For poor developing country farmers and their advocates, the farm bill that passed the House of Representatives on Friday could hardly be worse news. Dissatisfaction with existing farm legislation is widespread and, with commodity prices high, it seemed as though a real opportunity existed to both reform America's costly and inequitable farm policy and give the stalled Doha Round of trade negotiations a boost. But those hopes have been at least temporarily dashed.

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