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Famines are acute food shortages leading to sudden and severe declines in food consumption, with attendant widespread human displacements and excess mortality. Historically, such food and social crises have been attributed to both natural and human-made factors, and in the 21st century, analysts continue to argue over famine’s predominantly technical or political causes and solutions. With more than enough aggregate food produced in the world to feed everyone an adequate basic diet, world leaders concur that extreme hunger is unacceptable, and since the 1970s, international institutions have scaled up efforts to prevent famine or, as necessary, mitigate its impacts. But epidemic disease and economic and political violence, especially in countries in protracted conflict and food crisis, contribute to famine’s persistence, despite an international human rights ...

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