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Citation Information

Type Report
Title Impact Of The Multi-Year Title Hi Food Assistance Program On Food Security In Sri Lanka
Author(s)
Volume No. 17
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1993
URL http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/pnabr564.pdf
Abstract
The objective of this study is to assess the impact of the current Title III program in Sri Lanka. As enhancing food security is an overriding objective of both U.S. food aid and USAID/Sri Lanka's Multi Year Food Assistance Plan, the report attempts to assess the impact of this assistance on food security in Sri Lanka. The assessment is conducted on the basis of the three central dimensions of food security: availability; access; and utilization. Availability. Sri Lanka's food supply policy relies on domestic supplies, commercial imports and concessional imports to ensure adequate availability of food. PL-480 imports have contributed significantly to this policy goal. The absence of such assistance would likely have resulted in two detrimental effects on food security. First, reduced food availability would have caused disproportionate hardships to the poor, whose consumption levels are relatively low even under current supplies. Second, reduced food assistance v.ould have led to diversion of resources from on-going and planned development activities to meet the shortfalls in food availability. The patterns of food production and imports in Sri Lanka suggest that PL-480 assistance has had no disincentives on production or commercial imports. First, concessional imports, now approximately 10 percent of total rice and wheat availability, have been falling. Second, the protection accorded to domestic rice producers has offset any potential negative production effects from PL-480 wheat shipments. Third, factors other than PL-480 have caused both rice and coconut production to stagnate. Fourth, commercial imports have increased while concessional imports have fallen, suggesting both that PL-480 shipments have not depressed domestic rice production and that they have added to, rather than reduced, food availability. Fifth, a significant proportion of counterpart funds have been allocated to crop research and extension, two important determinants of productivity in the long run. Access. Strategies to ensure faster economic growth and provision of safety nets to protect the poor during structural adjustment tend to improve food accessibility at the household level. The PL-480 program has been used to maintain Sri Lanka's commitment to economic reform. The disbursement system for local currency proceeds is based on the achievement of specific benchmarks. Several policy reforms have been achieved under this system. Two of these relate to restructuring and privatization of the Ceylon Fisheries Harbours Corporation and reducing the export taxes on the plantation sector.

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