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Food Aid Can Fuel International Conflict

Huffington Post Canada: Why Food Aid Fuels International Conflict
Patricia Adams, executive director of Probe International, and Brady Yauch, an economist with Probe International

“…A 10 percent increase in food aid delivered to a country will, on average, increase the incidence of conflict by four percent. Food aid also increases the duration of civil conflicts. … Most often, rebel groups will set up road blocks and “tax” the aid agencies wishing to deliver the aid. In effect, the aid agencies directly support rebel groups by feeding them or providing them with goods that can be traded for arms or other services. … Aid can be commandeered, not only by rebel groups, but by ruling governments — often despotic ones too. … The reality −- that civilians are held hostage while murderous governments and rebels extort foreign aid and financing to wage their wars — casts doubt on the effectiveness of humanitarian efforts and on the credibility of the organizations that claim to be helping vulnerable populations…” (9/4).