Fundamentally, there are three main ways of how aid is given, they are bilateral aid (direct country to country), multilateral aid (country to World bank to country) and NGO aid (aid given by Oxfam, Red Cross etc non government organizations). Food aid could also be split into long term and short term, depending on the situation and the need.
Recently, cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar on the 2nd of May, a poor LEDC in Asia. Their infrastructure is poor and housing was appalling, resulting in deaths of over 80,000 people, and two million survivors waiting for food aid/shelter. Food aid was given by NGOs (Red Cross) and other MEDC governments, as a short term solution to the hungry survivors. This short term form of aid isn’t going to benefit the rich MEDCs much, except getting rid of it’s excess food supply in their own markets. However LEDCs receiving aid will benefit, their people will be better fed, meaning more nutrients and balanced diet. There will be free or very cheap cheap in a great variety, many of them new (e.g. chocolate, biscuits, bread) to the poor people who never anything other than their one or two staple commodities. North Korea on the other hand, receives long term food aid, due to political reasons. North Korea itself has absolutely no ability to farm enough food to feed its population, and would suffer a huge famine. The USA doesn’t want North Korea to develop it’s nuclear weapons, hence gave it food aid for many years, as a political exchange.
Food aid has it’s advantages and disadvantages to both donor (MEDC) and it’s recipient (LEDC). The MEDCs can control it’s own food prices by dumping the excess food to the LEDCs in the form of aid, in the meantime earning reputation in the international community to be ‘generous’ and ‘helping’. Aid has also become a good tool of advertising it’s own food, taking Nigeria as an example: people in Nigeria first got a taste of wheat in the form of food aid, people liked it and quickly became a popular,...
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