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Teaching to fish

Programa Mundial d'Aliments

There is a Chinese proverb which says that giving a man a fish you feed him for a day, but teaching him to fish you feed him for life. It is a popular and over-used proverb, but it helps again to understand the importance of a good concept of the humanitarian aid.

For more than a year, the World Food Program (WFP) has a project in Darfur which consists in organizing small markets of basic goods (sugar, flour, oil, eggs, cereals …). The organization distributes vouchers to the beneficiaries, who exchange them for the products that traders buy from local farmers. In the end, the traders exchange the collected vouchers with WFP for the predetermined value

It is a mechanism that not only ensures basic goods to the needed population, but also contributes on the consolidation and develop of the local economy.

Currently in northern Darfur, more than 200,000 people are benefited from this initiative (mostly displaced families) and its success let it expand to other areas.

This system will never replace direct food distribution to emergency areas (which unfortunately always will be) but it is a contribution to break the stereotype that humanitarian aid only creates more need.

Programa Mundial d'Aliments

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