International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

“Hardly More Than Ameliorative?” Plan International’s Food Aid Programme for Marange, Zimbabwe, 2000s-2010
Bernard Kusena (Mr)

This paper analyses the impact of food aid on recipient communities in Zimbabwe through the lens of Plan International’s charity programmes in Marange. Although food security can be guaranteed by factors other than agricultural productivity, the need for food aid has been prompted by the regularity of poor harvests experienced in Marange, an area so much dependent upon crop and livestock production. Since colonial times, many households hardly raised the basic three meals a day. Ironically, the post-colonial state has not successfully ameliorated the situation, regardless of its proclamation to end hunger by the turn of 2000.The paper engages debates on the desirability of food aid. Using primary documents at Plan’s Mutare office along with interviews and secondary sources, the paper concludes that food aid stifles prospects of sustainable and durable solutions to food insecurity. Indeed, what started off as emergency operations to cushion vulnerable members of society against shortfalls occasioned by dry spells in Marange, food hand-outs have actually become a permanent feature, thereby perpetuating a serious donor syndrome that needs urgent redress.

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