In 2004, the UN's Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan called Darfur the world's worst humanitarian crisis. A comprehensive food aid programme soon followed, at the time the largest in the world. Yet by 2014, while the crisis continued, international agencies found they had limited access to much of the population, with the Sudanese regime effectively controlling who received aid. As a result, acute malnutrition remains persistently high.
Food Aid in Sudan argues that the situation in Sudan is emblematic of a far wider problem. Analysing the history of food aid in the country over fifty years, Jaspars shows that such aid often serves to enrich local regimes and the private sector while leaving war-torn populations in a state of permanent emergency. Drawing on her decades of experience as an aid worker and researcher in the region, and extensive interviews with workers in the food aid process, Jaspars brings together two key topics of our time: the failure of the humanitarian system to respond to today's crises, and the crisis in the global food system.
Essential reading for students and researchers across the social sciences studying the nature and effectiveness of contemporary humanitarianism, development and international aid.
Susanne Jaspars has worked in the field of humanitarian aid for over thirty years, both as a practitioner and researcher. She has worked for Medecins sans Frontieres, Oxfam, and the World Food Programme, in countries across east and central Africa. She has also conducted research for the Overseas Development Institute, and currently serves on the editorial board of the International Humanitarian Studies Association. Her previous works include Nutrition Matters: People, Food and Famine (co-authored with Helen Young, 1995).
Preface 1. Introduction: Food Aid and Power The Crisis in Sudan What is Food Aid? Analysing Food Aid, Power and Governance Food Aid in Sudan The Challenges of Fieldwork in Sudan 2. From Managing States and Supporting Livelihoods to Abandoning Populations Managing States: Food Aid to Strengthen States and Benefit Donors Managing Lives: Food Aid to Save Lives and Protect Livelihoods Abandoning Populations: Food Aid, Global Instability and Resilience Conclusions 3. Food Aid in Sudan: Government and Private Sector Response Sudan's Protracted Crisis: Food, Governance and Inequality The Early Years of Food Aid in Sudan: Urban Food Subsidies, Uneven Development and Refugees Changes in Quantities and Types of International Food Aid in Sudan The Famines of the 1980s and the Manipulation of Food Aid Islamism, Self-sufficiency and War Control over International Agencies and the Sudanisation of Food Aid Conclusions 4. The Effects of Food Aid Practices in North Darfur An Overview of Drought, Famine and Conflict in North Darfur Food Aid in Response to Drought and Famine (the 1980s and 1990s) The Darfur Crisis: Food Aid in the Early Years (2003-07) The Later Years (2008-14): Reduced Food Aid and Access Restrictions Indirect Effects of Reduced Food Aid Are People Still Coping? Conclusions 5. Perceptions of Food Aid: Politics, Dependency and Denial of Permanent Emergency A Country of Food Aid Experts The Government View of Food Aid International Agencies: De-politicisation and Abandonment International Agencies: The Denial of Permanent Emergency Alternative Perceptions of Food Aid: Politics, War and Economic Benefits Conclusions 6. Conclusions What Brought about Change? Continuities? Impact of Food Aid Practices in Sudan's Protracted Emergency Implications for Humanitarian and Food Aid Operations Appendix 1: Chronology of Key Political Events in Sudan