U.S. Spent $140 Million of Haiti Earthquake Aid on Controversial Food Exports
In the months following Haiti’s devastating January 2010 earthquake, the United States government spent $140 million on a food program that benefited U.S. farmers but has been blamed for hurting Haitian farmers.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) sent 90,000 metric tons American of crops to Haiti as part of the Food for Progress and its related Food for Peace, programs run by USAID and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The programs send abundant American crops to nations in need of emergency relief. That amounted to almost three quarters of the U.S. government aid to Haiti after the earthquake, according to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the Haiti Justice Alliance, a Minnesota-based advocacy organization.
Critics said that sending American food aid to Haiti undermined thousands of Haitian growers who were already struggling against imports of cheaper rice and corn – staples of the Haitian diet.