Reforming India’s Food Aid Program Is Good Solution
Forbes: India’s Welcome Reform Of Its Ghastly Food Aid Program
Tim Worstall, fellow at the Adam Smith Institute in London
“India is making essential changes to the way that it operates its food aid program for the poor. Essentially, instead of trying to provide food itself to poor people, [the government plans to] give them money so that they can purchase food. … There’s two different arguments here. The first is simply efficiency: government is not known for its great efficiency anywhere in the world. And the task of purchasing food, collecting it all, and then distributing it back out again to those deserving poor is done in India just about as well as you’d expect. And my word, there’s a vast amount of corruption and theft that happens in that system too. … This change isn’t going to be done overnight; nothing in India is ever that simple. … I never tire of pointing out [that] the problem of poverty is that poor people don’t have enough money. The obvious solution is therefore to give them money to alleviate their poverty. This does the job more effectively than any other possible system of aiding them” (8/12).