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Information » Environment » People » Famine and Drought

  • A drought is a period of time when water is very scarce and people do not have access to it to live and work as they normally would

  • Many countries affected by drought are poor and find it hard to cope with water shortages. African countries have been very badly affected by drought in recent years

  • Drought affects people in more ways than just not having enough to drink. Farmers may have herds of cows which die during drought, or be forced to eat the grain put aside to replant crops in the next year. This means that the effects of drought are problematic even when water is available again

  • The effects of drought mean that food also becomes very scarce and many areas that suffer from drought also experience famines

  • A famine is a lack of food on a large scale. During a famine many people die of starvation and other illnesses they cannot fight because they are weak from lack of food

  • In 2005, the UN estimated that there were 815 million chronically malnourished people in the world. This means they are so short of food they do not eat the recommended minimum amount needed to live on. The UN recognised 30 countries facing a severe food emergency

  • There is enough food in the world to feed everyone, but over-production in rich countries and under-production in poor countries means that a lot of food is wasted

  • Many rich countries provide aid to poorer countries to ease immediate problems. However, many people now think it is more important to provide the means for people to grow their own food to prevent future famines from happening

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