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Addressing the Failures of Food Aid in Haiti Connor Rothschild, Maddy Scannell Rice University 2021

Abstract In 2017, the United States gave $62.3 million of food aid to Haiti, including 14,143 metric tons of in-kind aid. However, the historic and continued distribution of this vast amount of food aid is deeply flawed, contributing to the Haiti’s chronic poverty and food insecurity. Dumping heavily subsidized food aid produced in the United States into local markets harms Haitian agriculture and creates dependency on imported food. These damaging effects are perpetuated by a legal requirement for BISF 2018 Competition Winner

monetization, in which a proportion of food aid must be sold in the receiving nation, allowing Americans to profit off of the aid. An additional issue is the imposition of donor-driven conditions on aid, which have been largely counterproductive. After reviewing these policy failures with respect to Haiti, this paper proposes that the United States lift the legal requirement for monetization contained within 7 U.S. Code §1723(b) and replace current in-kind food aid with unconditional cash transfers. The transfers, equivalent to approximately 20% of household

income, would be allocated to low-income individuals and be distributed utilizing existing remittance infrastructure. A global review of previous studies regarding cash transfers empirically proves the effectiveness of cash replacing in-kind food aid. Cash offers greater flexibility and therefore better addresses diversity of needs across Haiti. Collectively, this analysis proves that unconditional cash transfers in the place of current inkind food aid would improve food security and the cost effectiveness of aid. In the long-term, implementation of this paper’s proposal

Profile for Rice Journal for Public Policy

RJPP | Volume 2, Iss.1, Spring 2019  

The Rice Journal of Public Policy is sponsored by the Baker Institute for Public Policy and supported by the Baker Institute Student Forum....

RJPP | Volume 2, Iss.1, Spring 2019  

The Rice Journal of Public Policy is sponsored by the Baker Institute for Public Policy and supported by the Baker Institute Student Forum....

Profile for ricejpp
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