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Title:Famine crimes: politics and the disaster relief industry in Africa
Author:Waal, Alex deISNI
Series:African issues
City of publisher:Oxford
Publisher:James Currey
ISBN:0852558112; 0253211581; 0253333679; 0852558104
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:humanitarian assistance
Abstract:This study is a critique of the 'humanitarian international' - the transnational elite of relief workers, aid-dispensing civil servants, academics, journalists and others, and the institutions they work for - and its involvement in famines in Africa. Emphasizing the political roots of famine and the political routes to its conquest, the study looks at the development of famine prevention and relief systems in Africa from about 1900 to 1984/1985. It discusses the implications of neoliberalism and the structural adjustment policies of the 1980s, using the case of Zimbabwe as an illustration, and analyses the expansion of international humanitarianism in the 1980s and 1990s. Special attention is paid to the Sudan (1972-1993), northern Ethiopia (1983-1985), Somalia (1991-1992, 1993), Rwanda (1994), and eastern Zaire (1996). The study concludes that most humanitarian action is useless or damaging and should be abandoned.