Feeding a Growing World

October 26, 1984

Report Outline
Third World Food Shortage
Population Growth Trends
Implications for Food Policy
Special Focus

Third World Food Shortage

Stymied Efforts to Aid Starvation Victims

Hundreds of thousands of people in Africa are dying from starvation or diseases related to malnutrition, victims of the worst drought in a decade. The toll could surpass the drought of the early 1970s when an estimated half million Africans died. In the intervening 10 years, the population in many African countries has increased more rapidly than food production, forcing them to rely on foreign sources for food.

Even when food is available in sufficient quantities, much of it never reaches the people in need. In Chad, where millions of people need immediate food relief, there is no rail or paved road system to transport food. There, as in Ethiopia, political unrest and civil war make distribution even more difficult.

The drought may also spell catastrophe for some of the few African nations that have viable economies. Kenya, one of the few drought-stricken nations to have accumulated sizable currency reserves from its exports to the developed world, is facing widespread hardship. The East African country's food needs far outstrip its production capacity, largely because of its 4 percent annual population increase.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Jan. 16, 2015  Global Population Growth
Nov. 16, 2012  Changing Demographics
Nov. 21, 2008  Declining Birthrates
Jul. 17, 1998  Population and the Environment
Jul. 16, 1993  Population Growth
Oct. 26, 1984  Feeding a Growing World
Aug. 02, 1974  World Population Year
Nov. 24, 1971  Zero Population Growth
Nov. 01, 1967  Population Profile of the United States
Aug. 15, 1962  Population Control
Jun. 13, 1952  Overpopulation
Mar. 10, 1930  Population Problems
Humanitarian Assistance