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Breaking Down a Famine

Breaking Down a Famine

This past summer, a famine was declared in Somalia for the first time in 20 years, due to the debilitating Horn of Africa drought. Roughly 12 million have been impacted by the crisis. So, what makes a famine?

Food Shortage

According to UNICEF, an emergency reaches famine levels when 20 percent of families face extreme food shortages.


Famine level wasting rates rise above 30 percent in children under 5 years old.


The mortality rate of a famine exceeds two deaths per 10,000 people per day—four times the average death rate in groups with food security.

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