Home Opinion Future of Food Aid and Policy Concerns

Future of Food Aid and Policy Concerns


I tried to write something which was not good enough. Natural disasters and conflicts create substantial strain on markets. The strain breaks supply chains, severely affect agricultural production, and eventually prices of basic commodities skyrocket (Smith, 2014). When food is unaffordable, refugees are locked out of the supply chain leaving them at the mercy of nutrition-related ailments.

The center for disease control (CDC) in 2014 released the weekly morbidity and mortality report nutrition status in women and child refugees in Syria.

The report indicates that Syrian refugees registered in Jordan receive food vouchers from World Food Program (WFP) and some vulnerable refuges receive cash assistance from United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and other Non-governmental organizations.

The reports further notes that the nutrition status may be still compromised due to dislocation, lack of income and limited access to nutritious foods (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014).

Survey conducted in April 2014 by CDC and partner organizations revealed prevalence of anemia in Zaatari camp in Jordan affecting both women and children. The report recommended nutritional policies addressing underlying risk factors for anemia. The policy would result in improved health outcomes and reduction of anemia.

Martinez and Eng (2016) examined how emergency food aid influences sovereignty and politics during conflicts in Syria. According to the study, food is a highly contentious and political issue in Syria with both opposing factions in Syria try to feed people within their territories even with limited food supplies.

For aid organizations, provision of food is not historically contingent or context-specific political endeavor but a neutral  intervention promised on humanitarian ethics (Martinez & Eng, 2016). Food aid organizations continue to distribute aid to both regime and opposition-controlled areas while trying to be unbiased in the activity.

The study concludes that emergency food aid should continue since this alleviates suffering and improves the lives of people in conflict zones. The study notes with concern that food aid is not neutral and probably will not be neutral in Syria. This pose a risk to aid workers since they become exposed to aggression from opposing sides.



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Jordan. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/MMWr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6329a6.htm

Martínez, J. C., & Eng, B. (2016). The unintended consequences of emergency food aid: neutrality, sovereignty and politics in the Syrian civil war, 2012–15. International Affairs, 92(1), 153–173. http://doi.org/10.1111/1468-2346.12502

Smith, J. (2014). “From the American People”: the US Farm Bill and the reform of emergency food aid. The Lancet Global Health, 2(5), e255–e256. http://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(14)70037-3