004 - Famine

Geographic Knowledge and Understanding

Factors affecting the severity of famine, including governance, the power of the media and access to international aid.


The severity of famine is impacted by human and physical processes. The different processes have different amount of power to reduce or increase the severity.


  • To have knowledge and understanding of the factors affecting the severity of a famine.
  • To produce a case study of a famine-stricken country or area and to have knowledge of the issues affecting it.

Case Study

One case study of the issues affecting a famine-stricken country or area.

Key Terminology

            • Stages of Food Insecurity
            • Famine

Define the key term above by using the useful link below.

Useful Link

Activity One - Social Media and Aid

Often the first time we hear about a country that is suffering from acute malnutrition is when it is in the news or highlights are posted on social media. Learning about such a catastrophe is vital when it comes to aid. If people don't know about it they don't give money. One way the celebrities highlight a plight is to either put together a song to raise money or they create an advert that can be played during the breaks of prime time shows or sporting events. Every group raises the publics awareness slightly differently and it ultimately depends on their culture the organisation is based in.

      1. Watch the YouTube clips below and write down what methods are being employed to raise the publics awareness of famine.
      2. Read the article below and write down the positives and negatives of giving aid. It focuses specifically on Band Aid.


Band Aid - 2014


NFL - 2011

Activity Two - Case Study - Yemen 2016

The syllabus point specifically asks us to focus on a famine within a specific country. We are going to be looking at Yemen as it has a famine that has been going on since 2016, but how many of you have heard about it? The UN has called it "... the worst famine in the world in 100 years." There are over 17 million people at risk and 3.3 million women and children who are currently suffering from acute malnutrition. This is compounded by poor sanitation and broken infrastructure due to the Yemini Civil War. In fact, cholera is currently on the rise and it has been said that there has been over 5,000 new recorded cases each day. But what has caused this and what is being done to deal with the issue?

Collect either an A3 sheet of paper and a set of coloured pens or Mr. Allaway's worksheet to create a case study of famine within Yemen. You will need to include the following points:

            • Chronology of the disaster
            • Location Map - where is Yemen?
            • Causes
              • Climatic Factors - natural causes of the famine including climate change.
              • Violent Conflict - human induced causes of the famine including governments outside of Yemen
            • Impacts
              • Economic shocks
              • Shortfall in food availability
              • Environmental degradation
            • Aid
              • Power of the media
              • Government
              • International Aid

Exam Style Question

Using a named example, evaluate the factors impacting the severity of a famine. [10 marks]

This lesson was development in collaboration with Richard Allaway from geographyalltheway. For more resources please visit www.geographyalltheway.com