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Researching Global Futures

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Andrew Monk Candidate Number: 6119 Centre Number: 28144 Advanced Level Geography: Edexcel B Specification Unit 5b) Researching Global Futures "Challenges for Human Environments" 'Food aid is never the answer to famine'. Discuss this statement with reference to a range of famine areas. The opening paragraph of a report written in 1999 by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) made for grim reading: "Almost 800 million people in the developing world do not have enough to eat. Another 34 million people in the industrialized countries and countries in transition also suffer from chronic food insecurity" It is apparent that globally there is a serious problem with providing enough food to eat to everyone that requires it. This report will, by its conclusion, have studied whether 'Food aid is (never) the answer to famine' or not. In order for this conclusion to be firmly established, it is required that a definition for what a famine is, and what it's causes are, is brought to the fore. Moving on from this, we will need to investigate areas in which famine is a regular, or even seemingly constant occurrence, where food aid has been offered to solve the problems, and look at it's subsequent effects, both positive and negative. After looking at the effects of food aid provision, a look at alternatives that have been suggested by groups such as the FAO, the World Food Programme (WFP), and the charitable, non-government organizations (NGOs) ...read more.


Food aid didn't help here in solving the long term problem of famine arising, it did help in that some people survived the floods in as much as they got some assistance to fulfil their nutritional requirements. Another natural disaster that leads to a need for sudden mass aid, are earthquakes, and I would like to look at the more recent events hitting Afghanistan, to an earthquake of magnitude six on the Richter scale, dated 26th March 2002, which had an epicentre at the town of Nahrin, in the nation's remote, mountainous, and yet well populated, northern province of Baghian - a town which was effectively destroyed. Due to the total devastation, access to the already remote region became increasingly difficult, particularly with the numerous aftershocks involved. Some 50,000 people were homeless, with little to no food, and no water supply - and under the definition given earlier, a famine was now facing the United Nations. Food aid was flown in by the various organizations already mentioned earlier, although it was frequently reported that this aid was being sold to the highest buyer, preferential treatment was being given, and that because of this violent clashes broke out at points of distribution of the aid. Due to these clashes, the aid was delayed, as the workers transporting the aid were under threat - often requiring escorts to the large camps. ...read more.


2. Secondly, achieving food security must also contribute to sustainable agriculture (so that dependency on food aid is limited), rural development and the achievement of sustainable production and consumption. Some of the alternatives to constant food aid, offered by the WFP, that were considered at the 2002 Earth Summit are summarized in Table 1. Looking at the issue of trade as an alternative, more long-term option, I would like to offer news of the success of a British aid worker in Kenya, Jim Chettle, who encouraged a group of farmers, struggling individually, to form a company, "Farmers Own". The farmers used local produce; soya, beans, nuts and rice to make confectionary, and snacks. Chettle firmly believes that people receiving aid should be encouraged more to diversify in these ways. Reducing poverty by promoting sustainable livelihoods would allow access to alternative food sources during local shortages. Communities would become food secure if they diversify crop patterns, use tradition varieties of crops resistant to disease and climate variation, balance food and cash crops, and have more adequate storage facilities. After considering the points raised in this report, I do not believe that food aid is never the answer to famine, it would appear to be an answer in solving short term emergencies, but communities should be encouraged to follow the path of Jim Chettle and Farmers Own, I believe - the long term benefits would be more rewarding and personally secure, for the state of mind of ones self, and ones family. ...read more.

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