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Zambia’s difficult grains episode

What are the implications for international development assistance?

Having ring-fenced its contribution at 0.7% of Gross Domestic Product, the United Kingdom is at the forefront of overseas aid giving. Parliament’s International Development Committee works to ensure public accountability for this expenditure, and in 2011-12, it launched a request for Evidence on the Effectiveness of UK Development Aid to Zambia. I submitted the following piece in response – see link

Contributions to international policies - Zambia 2012
Zambia Food Reserve Agency store

Zambia’s staple food crop is maize, and in the run up to the elections of November 2011, its Government’s policies had caused it to produce more maize than it could hope to market, causing financial losses I estimated likely to exceed US$500 million, and discouraging farmers to allocate resources to crops with better long-term prospects. However my main point was about the collective role of Governments and international bodies supporting Zambia, as they seemed to have done little to prevent the crisis developing.

In this blog I invite readers to share facts and experience on this and related cases, and to discuss the implications for development assistance and talk about Zambia’s difficult grains episode.

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