Famine Crimes: Politics & the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa

Front Cover
Indiana University Press, 1997 - Political Science - 238 pages
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 from Ethiopia to Botswana demonstrate African successes - but they are often not acknowledged or repeated. Who is responsible for the failures? African generals and politicians are the prime culprits for creating famines in Sudan, Somalia and Zaire, but western donors abet their authoritarianism, partly through imposing structural adjustment programmes. What is the role of International relief agencies? Despite prodigious expenditure and high public profile, relief agencies often do more harm than good. From Biafra to Rwanda, relief has helped to fuel war and undermine democratic accountability. As the influence and resources of UN agencies and NGOs have grown, the chances for effective local solutions have diminished. What is the way forward? Humanitarian intervention and other high-profile relief operations have failed. Progress lies in bringing the fight against famine into democratic politics, and calling to account those guilty of creating famine.
 

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Contents

introduction
1
Rights The Conquest
7
Africa
26
i
49
Sudan
86
Displaced famine victims Red Sea Hills Sudan 1991
102
Tigray and its borderlands map
113
Graffiti in Ethiopia
122
26
177
Somalia 1993
179
Dead refugee and survivors in Merca Somalia bodies collected
180
Eastern Zaire The Fundraisers
208
Bibliography
222
49
224
86
234
159
235

Southern Somalia map
160

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About the author (1997)

Alex de Waal is co-director of African Rights, London

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