Hunger as a cause of death – What is a famine?


Currently, a devastating famine causes the suffering of over 20 million people in the Horn of Africa, South Sudan, Nigeria an Yemen. Persistent droughts are blamed, but what is the role of humans in the emergence of this humanitarian disaster?


Every few years, the international community sounds the alarm and asks for financial support in order to prevent the death of many, caused by famine. It is a humanitarian disaster which is widely known for the ruthless suffering it is causing among millions of people, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. In Europe, pictures of children with protein bellies are shown, to emphasize the severe hunger of the affected population. Additionally, famines are often linked to persistent droughts, climate change or El Niño (a climate cycle in the Pacific Ocean with a global impact on weather patterns).

Are these assumptions true and comprehensive? Is it true that famines are the result of ongoing droughts, or can it be the result of ‘bad leadership’ and a lack of international assistance? International news station Al Jazeera covered these questions in an interesting article, supported by a clarifying report. Find it here:

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