The Egyptian Food Bank: Is it Sustainable? Is it Exportable?

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Hunger has dramatic adverse effects on individuals and economies. None broadly-shared economic growth will not guarantee hunger reduction, which accentuates the role of socially supportive institutions like food banks, especially in many developing countries where state welfare provision is humble. Food banks have been accused of being inefficient, among other things. The Egyptian Food Bank (EFB) is not the orthodox food bank type. The objective of this paper is to examine the technical efficiency (TE) of the Egyptian Food Bank (EFB) during its eight years of operation; 2006-2013, which is carried using the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) technique. The DEA results show that the EFB worked on the efficiency frontier with TE score equal to 1 in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2013. The lowest TE score (0.68) was in 2006, as expected, since this was the year in which the EFB was established. The EFB was also technically inefficient (0.83) in 2008 because of the significant growth rate in its total assets and slightly inefficient in 2011 and 2012 (0.97 and 0.98 respectively) because of the political instability after the 25th January revolution. In conclusion, in normal circumstances, the EFB was and remains to be efficient and thus sustainable. Locally, the Egyptian government must provide more support to the EFB not only for its successful achievements of reducing hunger in Egypt but also for its significant role in human development. Internationally, the EFB’s unorthodox model could and should be exported to other countries for worldwide faster hunger eradication.