Preferred form of food assistance in remote resource-poor areas: The case of arid lands in Kenya

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The increased use of cash-based instruments and strategies for the delivery of assistance is welcome as it is, in general, more reflective of a local developmental approach. However, such strategies require some preconditions for them to work properly. Market functioning is among the most critical of such preconditions. This is particularly relevant in areas where the limitations of local production are a constraint to the possible increase of supply. Moreover, conditions of forced reliance on external sources raise the risk of 'imported inflation' which may follow an induced increase in local demand. This has been the case experienced in the Horn of Africa in 2011, when the response to the drought was taking place in the midst of a global food price rise. This article highlights how, in some conditions, a balanced approach in supporting both demand and supply is preferable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-195
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Development Effectiveness
Issue number2
Early online date16 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • arid lands
  • cash transfers
  • food assistance
  • Kenya
  • market functioning
  • vouchers

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