"This occasional paper discusses the controversial issue of food aid which in the view of the World Bank and the World Food Programme is "an important and undervalued resource for development in Africa". The discussion, interestingly, includes the entry of some former food aid recipient African countries into the food aid delivery system through a number of innovative arrangements. At the heart of the debate is the impact of food aid on the health of African economies. Appropriately, therefore, the paper includes four case studies - Lesotho, Tanzania, Benin and Senegal - by scholars of the subject. In the conclusion the author states that although food aid has the potential to create disincentive effects, these can be mediated by appropriate government intervention. Accordingly he advocates integration of food aid with a holistic food and agricultural strategy. In the earlier pages, reference is made to the growing literature on food aid which, however, is concentrated on Asia and Latin America rather than Africa. This paper will go some way to redress the imbalance."