The Logic and Illogic of Food Aid by Stephan Haggard and Marcus Noland


[If you have not already read this article either at the Peterson Institute’s North Korea: Witness to Transformation blog or at 38North of the US-Korea Institute SAIS, we highly recommend this clear-speaking clarification and debunking of common arguments against food aid to the DPRK. We present here only the four statements (or myths) that are dealt with in the article and encourage you to read Haggard and Noland’s commentary here. –CanKor.]

As the food aid discussions heat up, we have been engaged in a number of conversations with friends–and critics–about the logic of granting food aid. Some of the arguments floating around need much closer scrutiny.

  1. “The food situation in North Korea is not that bad.”
  2. “We should not give food aid because it simply strengthens the regime.”
  3. “The North Koreans are seeking aid not to feed the population now, but to stockpile food for the celebration of Kim Il Sung’s 100th birthday party next year, when the DPRK is supposed to emerge as a strong and prosperous nation.”
  4. “Food aid should not be offered until adequate monitoring is in place.”

Read more: The Logic and Illogic of Food Aid

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