• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Famine

Famine is characterized by severe shortages of food, often combined with very high prices, leading to excess mortality. Occasionally the term is also used to refer to periods of high prices and scarcity leading to public concern or panic. Although the mass media beam images of starving faces around the globe reminding people of its horror, the actual incidence of famine and the depth of its severity have declined considerably since the 1970s. Hunger and malnourishment are, of course, still prevalent, but the fatal potency of famines has decreased markedly. Economic development, improvements in medicine and hygiene, alongside international humanitarian initiatives, have all played a positive role. Famine’s causes may stem not only from natural origins (climate, ecology, and environment), but also from manmade political ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles