The notion of “good enough for the poor” is more common than I would hope. If not expressed verbally, it is definitely visible in actions, and it sets my teeth on edge. Whilst plenty of people have written about not donating our junk and about not giving away expired food, these patterns continue because the sentiment that promotes them seems to be very naturally occurring. It is easy to point the finger at donors, especially those that benefit more from donation dumping, and are not really looking out for the best interests of the people they’re targeting (I am looking at you Corn Soy Blend). However, blame also falls on the many NGOs that continue to accept these practices, particularly because they seem to view donations as cost cutting options.
I have heard so many NGOs, regardless of size, country of origin, or location where they are working, say something along these lines: “the local government is a shambles, corrupt, and/or dysfunctional; we can’t work with it, we are here to help the people, we’ll just work around the government”. Yet, their sustainability plans frequently end up having a “handing over” process in which the key player is the same government everyone was complaining about.