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The Challenge of Famine: Recent Experience, Lessons Learned

John Osgood Field, editor
The Challenge of Famine: Recent Experience, Lessons Learned
ISBN: 978-1-56549-018-5
1993/279 pages/LC: 93-975
A Kumarian Press Book


Could the many famine and drought crises of recent decades in Africa (and elsewhere) have been avoided? The contributors to this book answer with a firm yes, calling for a response to famine that recognizes the phenomenon not as an event, but as a process, and urging the integration of famine policy with development policy.


John Osgood Field is emeritus professor in the School of Nutrition at Tufts University.


  • Foreword—Jean Mayer.
  • A Perspective on Famine.
  • Introduction.
  • Understanding Famine—J. O. Field.
  • National and International Responses to Famine.
  • Introduction.
  • Drought and Famine in Africa 1981–1986: A Comparison of Impacts and Responses in Six Countries—L. Berry and T.E. Downing.
  • Drought and Famine in the Pastoral Zone of the Sahel: The 1984 Drought in Niger—J. Dirck Stryker.
  • Responses to Famine: Why They Are Allowed to Happen—P. Cutler.
  • "Some Tragic Errors": American Policy and the Ethiopian Famine, 1981–1985—J. Shepherd.
  • Famine Relief and Development.
  • Introduction.
  • Reducing Vulnerability to Drought and Famine: Developmental Approaches to Relief—M.B. Anderson and P.J. Woodrow.
  • Coping with Crisis: Oxfam America's Disaster Responses—J.R. Charny.
  • Building Capacity in the Countryside: The Role of Sahelian Voluntary Development Organizations—H.M. Adam.
  • Improving Famine Detection and Response.
  • Introduction.
  • Information for Food: Community Famine Surveillance in Sudan— W.I. Torry.
  • Using Market Prices as a Guide to Predict, Prevent, or Mitigate Famine in Pastoral Economies: A Case Study from Sudan, 1989–90—P. Ulrich.
  • Beyond Relief: Toward Improved Management of Famine—J.O. Field.