Famine poses a continuing threat to many of the poorest countries in Africa. There is much that can be done, however, to reduce the risk of famine, and limit the damage done. Speeding up the response to famine early warning signals is vital.
Even when famine has gained hold, measures can be taken to help people survive the crisis, and rebuild their lives afterwards. Relief operations need to be much better integrated with long-term development. But with war now a major factor behind famine in Africa, more concerted peace-making efforts are also essential if the spectre of famine is to be confronted.