Meaning of FAMINE in English
Extreme and protracted shortage of food, resulting in widespread hunger and a substantial increase in the death rate.
General famines affect all classes or groups in the region of food shortage; class famines affect some classes or groups much more severely than others; regional famines affect only a particular region of a country. Causes may be natural or human. Natural causes include drought, flooding, unfavourable weather conditions, plant disease, and insect infestation. The chief human cause is war; others include overpopulation, bad distribution systems, and high food prices. Several severe famines occurred in the 20th century, including those in China (192829, 510 million dead; 195862, up to 20 million), Russia (192122, 1.255 million; 193234, 68 million), India (194344, 1.5 million), Cambodia (197579, 1 million), and sub-Saharan Africa.
Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Краткая энциклопедия Британика. 2012