famine

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famine

widespread food shortages leading to starvation and a high death rate within a given population. During a famine people die not only of hunger but from a variety of diseases to which they become increasingly vulnerable. Sen (1981) has argued that starvation arises from the condition of people not having enough to eat, and not as a result of there not being enough food to eat. Famine generally occurs when there is a sudden collapse of the level of food consumption, rather than as the result of a longterm decline, and people die because of the lack of time available to counteract the factors that lead to low consumption. It rarely occurs that a population is without any food (the Netherlands under German occupation during World War II may be one example), rather, Sen argues that it is changes in people's entitlement to food which is altered. Thus famine is linked to the distribution as well as the production of food, and the vulnerability of some groups, rather than others, within a population. Historically, famine has been precipitated by events such as serious floods or pestilence, but in the 20th-century major famines have been closely associated with warfare, as with Ethiopia and Mozambique in the 1970s and 80s, or with profound political upheavals, as with the consolidation of Stalinism in the 1930s in the USSR, and Maoism in China in the late 1950s. In all of these cases, however, only some social groups lost their entitlement to food, whilst others retained theirs or acquired new ones.
References in periodicals archive ?
Dear Editor, -Although Ariel Sharon's action in closing down the illegal Israeli settlements of Gaza has been publicised, many are unaware that his government's actions may lead to mass starvation in Gaza.
Liberating Iraqis to mass starvation and disease will not win the hearts and minds of these long-suffering people - or those of the war's many critics in the Mideast, who will be swift to blame the United States if a humanitarian disaster materializes.
Ruth Stockdale, Oxfam campaigner, said: "There is enough food in the world to ensure that mass starvation in this region is averted."
By detailing the weekly arrivals of food grains in Calcutta, he showed that it was not a scarcity of food but the lack of money to buy it that caused the mass starvation. In short, says Desai, "Sen showed that a functioning market economy could leave millions dead."
IN 1997, the people of Ireland and of Irish descent around the world observed the 150th anniversary of the worst year (1847) of the Great Irish Famine, a catastrophe precipitated by a fungus that first destroyed the potato harvest of 1845 and led to mass starvation and emigration through 1849.
Borlaug and his staff in Mexico spent nearly 20 years breeding the high-yield dwarf wheat that sparked the Green Revolution, the transformation that forestalled the mass starvation predicted by neo-Malthusians.
When war and drought lead a mass starvation, the U.S.
This is nothing to what is to come: famine and mass starvation. When oil, natural gas, and electricity are cut, everything from cooking and baking bread to planting the farmer's field becomes impossible.
House Committee that the mass starvation in East Timor was a legacy of Portuguese rule, not Indonesian occupation, a line he repeated when interviewed.
Without intervention, we can expect continued military brutality and increased prospects of mass starvation.
Vavrina's exposure to civil war and mass starvation do not challenge his faith in God, not even the fact that 40 of his own staff are missing and feared dead.
Efforts at food rationing, while crucial in preventing mass starvation, created black markets that were accompanied by inefficiency, corruption, and violence.