Essay about Famine in Africa
Famine has struck parts of Africa several times during the 20th century, and to this day is still going strong. According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, the average African consumes 2300 kcal/day, less than the global average of 2700 kcal/day. Recent figures estimate that 316 million Africans, or approximately 35 percent of the continent's total population, is undernourished. Although hunger in Africa is hardly new, it now occurs in a world that has more than enough food to feed all its citizens. Moreover, while Africa's population is growing rapidly, it still has ample fertile land for growing food. Hunger therefore reflects not absolute food scarcity but rather people's lack of access to …show more content…
Some basic facts are: 1st, it is mostly children who die, followed by men; women's greater biological stamina makes them most likely to survive prolonged food deprivation. 2nd, the primary cause of death is not starvation itself, but diseases such as diarrheal infection and malaria. 3rD, famine not only increases mortality rates but also decreases fertility—that means it will make birthrates go down. 4rd, famine is typically rural, because for Africa's leaders food security in politically influential cities has almost always taken priority over rural areas. 5th the reported mortality rates from contemporary African famines are inaccurate, due partly to the difficulties of collecting such information, but also to international agencies' tendency to exagerate figures in order to emphasize need for donor support.
A final point is that famine typically strikes only after people have exhausted a range of strategies intended to compensate for unpredictable climatic, economic, or political downturns. It is the nature and effectiveness of these coping strategies that have been most