FAMINE RESOURCE FILE: The reality of hunger

by Reuters
Friday, 16 September 2005 00:00 GMT

LONDON (AlertNet) -

Famine hit world headlines in the summer of 2005 as aid agencies raised the alarm over severe food shortages in Niger, where an estimated 2.7 million people were in desperate need of aid and more than 10 children were dying of starvation each week.

But how do such crises develop and why?

Although famine grabs the media spotlight, there is another more widespread scourge that rarely reaches people's television screens - chronic hunger. More than 850 million people go to bed hungry every night and suffer terrible effects as a result.

AlertNet has produced a package of useful resources on hunger and famine that aims to dispel myths about food crises and answer basic questions about a daily disaster that affects one in six of the world's people.

OVERVIEW TALKING POINT: The global food aid controversy

Why are rich countries at each others' throats over the best way to feed the world's hungry?

FACTSHEET: How does food aid work?

Key facts about the global food aid and how the system works

SLIDE SHOW: Life-cycle of a famine

A famine doesn't develop overnight - it usually takes months or even years. Find out how a food shortage develops into a full blown crisis.

QUIZ: Five myths about famine and hunger

Test your knowledge with this quick true-and-false quiz.

DEFINITIONS TALKING POINT: Why is famine so hard to define?

Governments and aid professionals have lengthy debates about whether a situation like Niger is a famine or a food crisis - and often the media are caught in the middle. So what is the difference and why are professionals so reluctant to use the F-word?

GLOSSARY: Understanding the jargon of famine

Definitions of key nutritional terms

FACTS AND FIGURES FACTSHEET: Hunger, the world's silent killer

Hunger kills more people every year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. But only eight percent of people who die of hunger die in a famine. Find out more about this hidden killer.

FACTBOX: Ten worst famines of the 20th century

And none of them took place in Africa...

THE IMAGE DEBATE Aid workers lament rise of 'development pornography'

Fierce competition for donations has rolled back progress in the way disaster victims are portrayed, NGOs say

TIPSHEET: How to portray famine victims with dignity?

Aid workers' suggestions for responsible use of pictures in fundraising appeals

USEFUL LINKS U.N. World Food Programme Hunger Map

Visit the WFP's interactive map to view the world's hunger hotspots.

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