Title

The persistence of world hunger : an examination of USAID efforts

Publication Date

1-1-2004

Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Nikoi Kote-Nikoi

Abstract

"The Persistence of World Hunger: An Examination of USAID Efforts" is a qualitative case study of anti-hunger programs and activities undertaken by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and its nongovernmental partners. This paper seeks to assess how, given policy and funding constraints, USAID can more effectively design and implement programs to reduce hunger and increase food security around the world. Inherent in the findings and arguments presented in this paper are the theoretical underpinnings of the views of selected experts and the solutions they put forth based on their beliefs and experiences. Fourteen in-person interviews were conducted with a total of 19 individuals from a variety of backgrounds representing USAID direct-hire staff and onsite consultants, NGO contractors and PVO implementing partners, and international partners. Major conclusions indicate a bias toward food aid-generally seen as humanitarian relief-as the primary means through which USAID currently addresses world hunger, despite the fact that food aid alone cannot address the root causes of hunger. At the same time, non-food aid development activities designed to reduce hunger focus on economic growth and agricultural productivity, while overlooking livelihoods, nutrition, healthcare, and education. Furthermore, U.S. foreign policy is an unchangeable reality inherent in USAID's anti-hunger programs. Though often perceived in a wholly negative light, foreign policy should not be dismissed unilaterally as a constraint. Creative, flexible programming is possible and, indeed, some offices within USAID already pursue integrated, cross- and multi-sectoral activities.Though limited in scope, this research will benefit those who seek to pursue their own research and/or to advocate for greater integration and flexibility of programming beyond food aid that will address hunger at its roots.

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