Whose logic? The local redistribution of food aid targeting old and chronically sick people in Zambia

Merten, S. and Haller, T.. (2009) Whose logic? The local redistribution of food aid targeting old and chronically sick people in Zambia. Human organization : journal of the Society for applied anthropology, Vol. 68, H. 1. pp. 89-102.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5843374

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In 2002-2003, the agro-pastoralist groups in the Kafue Flats of the Southern Province of Zambia were severely affected by famine. Livelihood changes due to an economic crisis decreased the ability of many families to support dependants, and those who were old or chronically ill were often regarded as a mere burden by their relatives. These developments were taken into account by aid agencies, which set up criteria to identify the most vulnerable households. Such indicator targeting for food aid resulted at the local level in prioritizing households headed by an old or chronically ill person, regardless of whether the household was in other ways categorized as poor. As a consequence households headed by less impoverished elder people, particularly if they had political power, were also able to gain access to relief food for their own benefit. Meanwhile other elderly persons were expected to share relief food (voluntarily or not) with their relatives, due to the increasing destitution of the poorer strata of the population. Local priority setting rarely accorded with the logic of the aid organizations, but instead prioritized firstly those who had to work hardest, then children. Ultimately, local power structures and notions of entitlement determined the distribution of food aid irrespective of official targeting aims
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Society, Gender and Health > Gender and Health (Zemp Stutz)
03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Public Health > Sozial- und Präventivmedizin
UniBasel Contributors:Merten, Sonja
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Human Organization
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Last Modified:24 May 2013 09:22
Deposited On:24 May 2013 09:05

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