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Book Book Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Famine that kills: Darfur, Sudan, 1984-1985
Author:De Waal, AlexanderISNI
Series:Oxford studies in African affairs
City of publisher:Oxford
Publisher:Clarendon Press
ISBN:0198273495; 0198277490
Geographic term:Sudan
Abstract:This is a study of the famine which struck the Darfur region of Sudan in 1984/1985. It is based on eighteen months' field research between mid-1985 and early 1987 in the area. The author analyses the famine from the perspective of the rural people who suffered it. When news of the famine broke in the West, relief experts predicted that, without massive food aid, millions of people would starve to death. Food aid on this scale did not arrive in time, but millions did not starve. The author argues that deaths during the famine were not in fact due to starvation, but instead were caused by outbreaks of disease which followed the social disruption brought about by the famine. In addition, the priority for rural people during the crisis was not to try to save every possible life, but instead to preserve their way of life for the future. Consequently, he concludes, the huge international famine relief effort was largely irrelevant to their survival. This book demonstrates how rural Sudanese were able to survive on their own resources, using skill, local knowledge, and immense tenacity. It is a multidisciplinary study using methods and evidence from social anthropology, history, economics, geography, and epidemiology. The findings have profound implications, not just for famine-relief policies, but for our very conception of 'famine' itself.