CARE turns away from US food aid funding

CARE has decided to stop accepting U.S. food aid funding, saying the system is harming local farmers in developing nations. “If someone wants to help you, they shouldn’t do it by destroying the very thing that they’re trying to promote,” according to CARE official George Odo. The practice entails the government to buy American farm products and donate the goods to aid groups, which would then sell them to poor countries in order to cover the costs of operating their programs there. “What’s happened to humanitarian organizations over the years is that a lot of us have become contractors on behalf of the government. That’s sad but true. It compromised our ability to speak up when things went wrong,” Odo added. CARE plans to completely end its involvement with projects involving US food aid funding by 2009 and will instead look for other donors to replace lost revenues from the pullout. (Source: Charity finds that U.S. food aid for Africa hurts instead of helps/International Herald Tribune)

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