Document Detail

Prediction and prevention of famine.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  3527755     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In general, famines have become less frequent and of decreasing magnitude in recent decades, a generalization to which sub-Saharan Africa is the striking exception. The underlying factors preventing famine continue to weaken in sub-Saharan Africa, while they grow stronger elsewhere. The basic elements of famine prevention are: a substantial surplus of agricultural production beyond the subsistence needs of the rural population; highly developed transportation systems within rural areas, between rural and related urban areas, and with the rest of the world; and a democratic form of government. The first makes a shortage of food and income to buy food less likely, the second makes it possible to deal with food and income shortages if they do occur, and the third ensures that necessary and feasible actions will be taken. In a democratic framework a free press brings attention to famine even in isolated areas, and public opinion refuses to countenance inaction by the bureaucracy. Once conditions of famine arise, market mechanisms concentrate food where the purchasing power exists, drawing food from the rural to the urban areas and from the poor to the rich. In such circumstances governments must take direct action to prevent starvation. Famine is predicted by successive years of poor crops, a rapid rise in food prices, a decline in the prices of goods that the poor sell (particularly including the livestock of pastoralists), and a decline in employment.
J W Mellor
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Federation proceedings     Volume:  45     ISSN:  0014-9446     ISO Abbreviation:  Fed. Proc.     Publication Date:  1986 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1986-10-20     Completed Date:  1986-10-20     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0372771     Medline TA:  Fed Proc     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2427-31     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Agriculture / standards
Food Supply / economics
Relief Work
Rural Population
Socioeconomic Factors
Starvation / mortality,  prevention & control*
Transportation / standards

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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