Food Shortages and Food Aid

UNESCO Courier, May 1987 | Go to article overview

Food Shortages and Food Aid


Food shortages and food aid

EXCEPTIONAL climatic conditions, such as the widespread and persistent droughts that have caused great hardship in sub-Saharan Africa in the last decade, are usually accompanied by severe food shortages. The effects of these climatic hazards last longer than those of any other natural catastrophes and include crop failures, risk of epidemics, and large-scale migration from rural areas to better-fed towns and cities.

Other factors which have an impact on food production and consumption include the current world economic recession and the imbalances stemming from it--higher rates of unemployment, falling national income, increase in external debt--which in many developing countries are leading to deteriorating living conditions and malnutrition. In some regions the situation has been made much worse by civil disorders or war.

At the end of 1985, the Global Information and Early Warning System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported that 11 countries were experiencing abnormal food shortages--6 in Africa, 4 in Asia and 1 in Central America. …

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