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Famine in developing countries

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Causes and consequences of famine.
    1. Natural calamities.
    2. Access to land.
    3. Conflict.
    4. Exchange rate failures.
  3. The geography of famine.
  4. Observable consequences of famine.
  5. Conclusion.

Everything happens for a reason. For a global crisis, which is famine, this saying is fairly accurate. Yet, famine happens not only for a reason but for complex reasons. Aside from its characteristically intricate origins, the consequences of famine are also multifaceted. Likewise, the definition of the term ?famine? is not that easy to grasp as it may seem. The common perception of famine is a condition in which there is an extremely scarce supply of food. Consequently, because of inadequate food availability and consumption, there is also an abrupt decline in the level of food consumption of a particular large population. Starvation proceeds then because people are continuously subsisting without sufficient food supply and this condition worsens when famine is under sway; similarly, mortality rate is high due to unprecedented incidences of starvation. However, famine is not only attributable to an extreme and prolonged shortage of food but it also underlines economic, political and social trends that can transpire when food supplies are adequate to avert its emergence.

[...] In one of the richest nations in the world, the United States, the allocation of the population dealing with starvation increased from 8 percent in 1985 to 12 percent in 1990. Yet, famine in industrialized nations is neither serious nor pervasive as compared to the developing countries (Cohen and Reeves 1995, para 2). Observable Consequences of Famine The unpleasant consequences of famine are widespread because these include physical, psychological, social and economic problems. Malnutrition results from food shortage within a short period of time. Both the children and the elderly fall short in growing, learning and suffer from excessive weight loss, lack of energy and diminished work capacity. [...]


[...] If this phenomenon occurs, poor people will have nothing to eat not because of food shortage but because of their incapacity to buy food. The needed calories of each individual under wage labor are not met because of the low value of their animals, cash crops and labor in relation to food prices. This exchange rate failure as Sen calls it, is one of the most important factors that set off famine in the developing countries of Africa and Asia (Swift 2006, p. 42). [...]


[...] The victory of a nation in climbing the ladder to economic progress is not at all accompanied with all the good things in life because even in wealthy countries famine could occur in a significant level. If food production level is efficient yet there are still incidences of starvation because of food shortage, the exchange rate failure phenomenon can explain this contradiction. It simply states that the wage of the workers is not commensurate to their nutritional and dietary needs. [...]

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