Aug 16 2007

The Uncharitable Charity

Category: Uncategorized<ADMINNICENAME> @ 3:52 PM

Why does CARE, the international charity, need more than a year to phase out of the dubious practice of selling American-grown food — purchased at deep discounts with the help of the American government — to African consumers. Africans grow their own food and their markets are disrupted by the dumping of American-grown food into their countries. To be sure, there is a role for direct food aid, but aid agencies should not be in the position of becoming peddlers of food under the guise of provide foreign assistance, or charity. The economics of food aid is complex, yet no one disagrees that African farmers are better off growing more food rather than less. The U.S. government would do better to give African governments and relief agencies money to purchase food in Africa at market prices, thus benefiting farmers by encouraging them to grow more food. The key point here is that Americans ought to do whatever possible to encourage Africans to grow enough food to meet their needs. Taxpayers should not be funding a program that essentially only helps Americans farmers get rid of food that they can’t sell on the open market and probably shouldn’t have grown in the first place. Charities such as CARE have long been willing co-conspirators in a vast fraud that harms poor African farmers while benefiting much richer ones — all under the guise of doing good. CARE is wise to end its complicity in this morally-tainted system of turning charities into food peddlers on behalf of fat-cat American farmers. But why not end the practice now? Why wait? The harm to African farmers continues.

Comments are closed.