Famine in the Twentieth Century
IDS Working Paper 105
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More than 70 million people died in famines in the twentieth century. Stephen Devereux has compiled data from over 30 major famines and has assessed the success of some parts of the world, notably China, the Soviet Union, India and Bangladesh in apparently eradicating mass mortality food crises.
He contrasts this with the experience of sub-Saharan Africa, where famines triggered by the relationship between drought and civil war have become endemic since the late 1960s.
Devereux argues that if famine is to be eradicated during the twenty-first century, it requires not only technical capacity in terms of food production and distribution, but also substantially more political will, at national and international levels, than has been seen to date.