Thursday, 16 February 2012

In Print and Online ; Aid for Haiti

"You might say it [US rice sent as food aid to Haiti] is a perfect metaphor for what is wrong with aid to Haiti. Instead of bringing subsidized rice in on ships from Miami, we could be helping Haiti grow rice in it`s own fields."

American journalist Donovan Webster has recently penned a series of articles on Haiti for , one of which, containing the above quote, has also been reproduced  at (Haiti ; Where Did the Money Go ?, 11 Jan 2012), and subsequently recycled by various bloggers.

Some in the UK may be surprised to know that the quote actually came from a representative of Oxfam America.

Whether Oxfam is in any position to comment on the effective use of resources is debateable, given it`s own chequered history. In fairness though, in the early to mid-`80s, Oxfam UK was a key player in an almost-forgotten initiative, The Campaign for Real Aid, and published Tony Jackson and Deborah Eade`s Against The Grain, a book that asked some very hard questions about the value of food aid.

Those were different times and some would say that was a different Oxfam. Are they about to reclaim lost territory ? We wait and see.

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