News Release: Events, International

Apr. 13,  2009

Food Security in Africa is Focus of Seminar April 15

Crises in Somalia, Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo Spotlighted

"Beyond Relief: Food Security in Protracted Crises" is the focus of a recently published book – and a seminar set for Wednesday, April 15, from 2:30 - 5 p.m. in room 575 of Emory Law. Featured speakers include renowned economists Luca Alinovi and Luca Russo, co-editors of "Beyond Relief" and leading experts in food aid at the UN Food and Agricultural Organization in Rome.

"Beyond Relief" presents case studies from three of the most protracted crises in the world: in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Somalia.

"These are places where instability has become the norm, which raises challenging questions about how to deal with them," says Peter Little, professor of anthropology and director of Emory's new Development Studies Program. "We want undergraduates at Emory to learn something about how problems of global poverty and violence are inter-connected with what goes on in the United States."

Little is an expert on the horn of Africa, and contributed chapters on Somalia in "Beyond Relief."

"If you blink, things change in Somalia. That's how rapidly events are happening there," he said. "The U.S. is distracted right now by Iraq and Afghanistan, although Somalia is getting more attention as people grow concerned about the threat of an Islamic, fundamentalist state emerging there, and the effect of Somali pirates on international trade off the coast."

Short-term humanitarian aid often does little to alleviate the human suffering and political turmoil in regions of protracted crises, says Little, who will join the speakers at the "Beyond Relief" seminar.

"We're starting a dialogue," he says. "The solution is to think about these areas in much longer-term ways and start helping them build public and political institutions, or they are just going to continue to be in crisis."

Other speakers planned for the seminar include: Patience Kabamba, visiting lecturer at Emory; John Stremlau, vice president for peace programs at the Carter Center; and Daniel Maxwell, co-author of "Food Aid after Fifty Years: Recasting its Role."

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