American Food Aid: Disruption and Development in Haiti

Americans see themselves as a force for good in the world; many believe that richer nations like our own should help spread our material wealth with those in need, and provide stability to those whose lives are in turmoil. On the fiftieth anniversary of the Food for Peace program, a branch of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and a key American foreign aid presence in the developing world, President George W. Bush noted that “America has a special calling to come to [poor countries’] aid and we will do so with the compassion and generosity that have always defined the United States.” (USAID 2004: 2) Crossing political party lines, bureaucratic missions, and program designs, a “combination of American compassion together with the unmatched efficiency of our nation’s farmers” makes USAID one of the largest and most well-respected foreign aid providers in the world. (USAID 2004: 3)

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