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Stellenbosch University (2019)

Curse or Cure ? The relationship between food aid and food security in Sub-Saharan Africa : the cases of Mozambique and Kenya

Ehlers, Landi

Titre : Curse or Cure ? The relationship between food aid and food security in Sub-Saharan Africa : the cases of Mozambique and Kenya

Auteur : Ehlers, Landi

Université de soutenance : Stellenbosch University

Grade : Master of Arts (MA) Political Science 2019

Résumé
Hunger is one of the greatest problems facing the global population. The reality is a situation of desperation, tragically in the midst of global, aggregate surplus. Global food production is increasing at a higher rate than global population growth, yet the number of people suffering from chronic hunger is rising. This seemingly contradictory fact is a consequence of severe food insecurity. Donors provide food aid to food insecure states as an ostensible act of humanitarianism. However, critics argue that food aid donations hold ulterior motives, which are favourable to donors, but condemn food insecure recipients to their desperate circumstances. This debate, calling into question the motivations and effectiveness of food aid, remains unsettled in the literature as well as in practice. The world can no longer risk the implementation of possibly ineffective or detrimental measures in response to food insecurity. This study investigates the purported relationship between food aid and food security. It considers the different arguments within this debate and ultimately determines how valid these arguments are in a Sub-Saharan African context, specifically in the cases of Kenya and Mozambique. The Human Security approach, the Capabilities Approach, as well as Theories of Dependency are deployed as analytical tools according to which a framework of analysis is constructed and applied to both case studies. Along with insight gained from interviewed experts, this study is able to conclude that the relationship between food aid and food security in sub-Saharan Africa, specifically the cases of Kenya and Mozambique, is not directly relational. Positive arguments in the debate regarding food aid and food security are not valid in the cases of Kenya and Mozambique, while the negative arguments of dependency and underdevelopment are much more likely to be realised. Both countries receive predominantly emergency food aid, the alternative to which may often be destitution. It is thus neither helpful nor realistic to suggest that food aid provision should be halted due to its negative consequences. This study concludes that although the provision of emergency food aid seems a necessary evil, it should no longer be considered a method of sustainably increasing recipients’ food security. The findings of this study may assist in the development of more effective practices regarding food aid and food security. By addressing the root causes of food insecurity, and enabling food aid dependant countries to recognise their weaknesses, positive and sustainable development may be promoted, which may in turn improve food security and lower the necessity of, and dependency on, food aid.

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