Drought and Famine Relationships in Sudan: Policy Implications

Sudan experienced severe food shortage and famine during the 1970s and 1980s. For a country known for its vast agricultural resources, this is both unfortunate and ironic. This research report explores the basic factors that contributed to the recurrence of this phenomenon and identifies policies and actions for avoiding famines and achieving sound and sustainable food policies. The study demonstrates the complexity of policy for prevention, which encompasses macroeconomic reform, promotion of agricultural production and technological change, market development, employment promotion, and interventions for health and nutrition. The researchers extensively investigated all theses aspects from primarily field data gathered before and after the 1984-85 famines as well as from a secondary data. The analysis clearly indicates that famines in Sudan are more often than not a result of long-term policy failures, and in environments of political unrest and weak infrastructure, droughts, serve as a trigger to famine. Famines appears as short-term crisis, but this study and a parallel one by IFPRI in Ethiopia show that they arise out of long-term developments in policy, economic strategy, and ecology. This calls for research, such as this study, on these long- term factors, not just research into the short-term aspects of crises. The persistence of famine in Sudan in the 1990s shows that such long-term research has application to current situations and could be a great assistance to Sudan and to other countries in Sub- Saharan Africa with similar conditions. IFPRI hopes that policymakers will regard the research finding and the recommendations as valuable contributions to their endeavors to reduce and ultimately eliminate incidences of famine.

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0-89629-091-3 (Other)
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Research Report

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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