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 (1928–29, 5–10 million dead; 1958–62, up to 20 million), Russia (1921–22, 1.25–5 million; 1932–34, 6–8 million), India (1943–44, 1.5 million), Cambodia (1975–79, 1 million), and sub-Saharan Africa.

Britannica Concise Encyclopedia.      Краткая энциклопедия Британика.