An assessment of emergency relief programs for pastoral communities

This paper makes the case that emergency relief programs to pastoral areas of Africa do little to relieve the fundamental effect of famine, which is destitution. It argues that traditional mechanisms of coping with drought are often disrupted by food aid programs especially Food-For-Work. Three case studies from Sudan and Kenya are used to support the argument. The paper concludes by making policy recommendations for emergency programs to be more effective in meeting the primary need of pastoralists following severe drought, which is to rebuild herds and therefore their livelihoods.