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close this bookTackling Hunger in a World Full of Food: Tasks Ahead for Food Aid (WFP)
close this folder6. Tasks ahead
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentSaving life, rebuilding livelihoods
View the documentAttacking hunger from birth
View the documentAiding people to gain access to food
View the documentA sharper focus for the future

Aiding people to gain access to food

Food aid works in partnership with market forces

6.7 The chronically hungry have a difficult task in fulfilling either their human or economic potential. Since hunger perpetuates poverty, persistent hunger must be removed if sustainable food security is to be attained. Consequently, the third priority must be food aid interventions that assist food insecure households by-passed by mainstream development activities, particularly in situations where there is insufficient food in the market and food prices are volatile. Food aid can provide direct assistance to people who lack purchasing power, and can strengthen markets by building transport infrastructure or enhancing marketing systems through local monetization and local food purchases. Food aid is not an inherent competitor to, or disruptor of, the market; it can and should be a natural partner. The hungry of the world will best be served through an enhanced partnership in the coming decades.

6.8 Of course, food aid is not the answer to all hunger in the world. Some of it can better be addressed through non-food resources and/or the more generalized benefits of macroeconomic development. But, targetted food aid is the premier resource for addressing the urgent, current needs of hungry people in food-deficit countries. For those needs to be adequately addressed in coming years, the level of targeted aid reaching the hungry in these countries needs to be protected from fluctuations in global supply, particularly in years of high world food prices, and enhanced according to need.