Books  Sustainable Development  Aid & North/South Issues 

Famine Crimes: Politics and the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa

Series: African Issues

By: Alex de Waal

238 pages, Maps

James Currey

Paperback | Jan 1997 | #89643 | ISBN: 0852558104
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £14.99 $19/€16 approx

About this book

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

'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 almost twenty years ago.' - Michael Watts in Development & Change 'This is unquestionably 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


Rights and entitlements; the conquest of famine in Africa 1900-1985; a fragile obligation to famine relief; retreat from accountability I; neo-liberalism and adjustment; retreat from accountability II; the humanitarian international - Sudan 1972-93; privatizinf famine - Northern Ethiopia; revolution, war-famine and two models of relief - the end of the Cold War; a new humanitarian dispensation - Somalia 1991-92; famine and relief after the state - humanitarian impunity; Somalia 1993 and Rwanda 1991-92; Eastern Zaire 1996 - the fundraisers' catastrophe; political contracts and humanitarian dilemmas.

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