Reluctant Aid or Aiding the Reluctant?: U.S. Food Aid Policy and Ethiopian Famine Relief

1st Edition

Steven Varnis

Routledge
Published January 30, 1990
Reference - 234 Pages
ISBN 9780887383489 - CAT# Y353010

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Summary

This book undertakes a systematic analysis of responsibilities for the 1983-86 Ethiopian famine and its relief, drawing upon a wide range of materials and personal observation in Ethiopia itself. Ethiopia's sponsorship of famine is described by tracing its origins to revolutionary food policies, reinforced by the restructuring of external relations and development strategies away from the West and toward the communist world.The policy sources of the famine are described in detail, assessing expectations about regional variations in Ethiopian food policy and the inducement of famine. Military struggles and economic stagnation associated with collectivization efforts are considered to have produced consumption shortages in war zones and stable regions alike. In this context of Ethiopian disavowal and American hesitancy, a broad relief policy was fashioned.This book describes in rich intimacy conflicts between donor and recipient governments - a conflict about the uses of aid for either famine relief as such or the pursuit of radical national transformation. Unique in its dual focus on policy from a donor nation and recipient nation alike, Varnis's work offers the specialist in African affairs, international relations, and policy analysis a keen sense of how policies are made and changed over time to meet circumstances of a highly volatile and unique sort.Vamis's work is rich in theoretical implications for social development, for this was more than a conventional relief effort. It was an effort that failed to advance specifically Western interests, and served to stabilize the socialist orientation and dictatorial control of the Ethiopian State. Just what this means in terms of ideological priorities and the dependency paradigm forms the basis of the assessment of the conclusion of Reluctant Aid.

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