Famine Crimes

Famine Crimes

Politics and the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa

Alexander de Waal


No rights

James Currey



Famine is preventable. The persistence of famine reflects political failings by African governments, western donors and international relief agencies.
Can Africa avoid famine?
When freedom from famine is a basic right or a political imperative, famine is prevented. Case studies demonstrate such successes but they are not often acknowledged or repeated.

Who is responsible for the failures?
African governments, western donors and international relief agencies all contribute to the problem.

What is the role of international relief agencies?
Relief has helped to fuel war and undermine democratic accountability.

What is the way forward?
Progress lies in bringing the fight against famine into democratic politics, and calling to account those guilty of creating famine.

Published in association with the International African Institute
North America: Indiana U Press


January 1997
6 black and white, 2 line illustrations
256 pages
21.6x13.8 cm
African Issues
ISBN: 9780852558102
Format: Paperback
James Currey
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Famine Crimes is without question the most important intervention in the broad field of famine prevention since the publication of Amartya Sen's Poverty and Famine... - Michael Watts in DEVELOPMENT & CHANGE
An important book by a writer whose accomplishments as a researcher, critic and activist on famine and on human rights in Africa are widely respected. It is also a book which is causing distress and anger in some humanitarian organizations. - John Harriss in INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
If Famine Crimes does not have all the answers, it nevertheless poses many key questions, and it does so by means of a readable, provocative and empirical analysis of crises with which the author has been passionately involved. It is a powerful critique of current practices that will be a milestone in the literature on aid and conflict. - David Keen in THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

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