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The Political History of American Food AidAn Uneasy Benevolence$
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Barry Riley

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190228873

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190228873.001.0001

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A Global Food Crisis

A Global Food Crisis

Chapter:
(p.335) 15 A Global Food Crisis
Source:
The Political History of American Food Aid
Author(s):

Barry Riley

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190228873.003.0016

The global food crisis of 1972–74 was the result of unusually poor harvests in many of the world’s major production areas. South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa were particularly hard hit and needed to import basic foodstuffs to avert famine. Unfortunately, because of unprecedented purchases by the Soviet Union and decisions by oil-exporting countries to raise prices on oil, poor countries faced higher prices for both food and energy, while the food aid donors found themselves unable to find food aid commodities at affordable prices to send to countries desperately in need. This chapter describes how these events came about, the depth of the problem in the hardest-hit countries, and the nature—and constraints on—the U.S. response to them.

Keywords:   global food crisis, Russian wheat deal, Earl Butz, Vietnam, Chile, Sahel, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Mohiuddin Alamgir, Amartya Sen

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