NGO gimmicks will not solve hunger
IPN Press release
LONDON, 16 October 2009 - Protectionism and government interference perpetuate hunger and recurring famine in poor countries. Yet pressure groups such as Action Aid have called for more government intervention this World Food Day (Friday 16 October).
Caroline Boin, a project director at London-based think-tank International Policy Network, today said: “When it comes to food security, protectionist policies have been tried repeatedly – and failed dismally. The governments of Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya pursued these policies for decades – and millions of their citizens currently face starvation.” Boin explained that these governments have distorted food prices, restricted imports and exports of food, and failed to empower rural people, the majority of whom are subsistence farmers.
She continued: “It is only because countries such as China stopped controlling agriculture and eliminated many trade distorting policies that 400 million people have been lifted out of dire poverty and 85 million people have escaped hunger. Prosperity comes from trade - not from government.”
Boin concluded, “Governments and pressure groups should steer clear of simplistic gimmicks which will perpetuate food scarcity and poverty.” ENDS.
CONTACT: Caroline Boin, Project Director at International Policy Network, +44 20 3393 8410, +44 77 2945 2507,
cboin |AT| policynetwork.net
“Famine also caused by bad policies”, by Caroline Boin and Douglas Southgate, Business Daily (Kenya) - http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Opinion%20&%20Analysis/-/539548/672224/-/tx26qrz/-/
Action Aid: “Some poor nations succeeding in fighting hunger,” Associated Press
IPN is a global think tank headquartered in London. IPN seeks to encourage better public understanding of the role of the institutions of the free society in social and economic development, and works with likeminded thinkers and partner organizations in over 70 countries.