Header image

from the American people

Posted by Maureen Saturday, May 03, 2008

from the American people, originally uploaded by ukweli.

I've just discovered the "blog this" option on Flickr. Often, Toby posts photos on his flickr that I want to share, but I never take the time to download them and post them here. But now I can do it in just one click (oh, our fast society of instant gratification...). So, here's the latest of his interesting photos.


Sarah said...

Tell Toby great photo : ) Have you talked in class about how USAID helps or hurts developing economies? I've heard sometimes the food aid can actually depress the prices local farmers get on their crops. What's the current on-the-ground assessment from Toby?

Sarah M.

Maureen said...

We haven't talked about it in class but I have otherwise. It is true that food aid hurts local farmers. Because when the USA drops tons of rice or wheat or corn or sorghum for free, then no one is going to go to the farmers to buy it from them. Consequently, they have to drop their prices in order to sell anything, and of course that does not help. Then they just get in a vicious cycle of that, and ultimately you have people depending on food aid who DON'T NEED IT. Which leads to Toby's on-the-ground assessment--the area in which he lives, where said sorghum is being delivered to, is not impoverished or in famine. Of course by our standards they're poor, but according to theirs, they are doing just fine. Toby is constantly being overfed and forced to eat more sorghum. So this would be a prime example of the US dropping food wherever and it probably not helping the economy there, or at least could be used better somewhere else.

However, his area is definitely considered a "war-ravaged" region, and so I'm sure that the food drops are due to that. It hasn't been long since all these people had their homes an fields burnt to nothing, so I believe that is why the food aid comes to this region.