Hidden Histories


Tom Scott-Smith on the History of Famine Relief

Tom Scott-Smith and Helen talk about the history of famine relief and humanitarian aid, and how it has changed over time. Humitarian aid is intensely political, and the form that humanitarian aid takes today is heavily influenced by its past. That form is important, because the type of aid that refugees receive has a big impact on their lives; the quality and quantity of food matters.

Tom also talks nutritional science, showing how overproduction of milk, soy and corn in the 1930s, have been responsible for the nutritional content of humanitarian food today. He and Helen also discuss the liberation of Belsen, and whether there is any truth to the story that those being liberated from Bergen-Belsen were more interested in getting their hands on lipstick, rather than food.

Tom Scott-Smith is Associate Professor of Refugee Studies and Forced Migration.

Find out more here: https://www.ukri.org/news/100-new-generation-thinkers/

Producer: Peter Curry

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