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A famine is a situation when a certain country or area doesn't have enough available food and related resources to feed its population. As a result many affected by the famine are undernourished and die of starvation or thirst.

Famine is an ancient problem: famine was so well known in the ancient world that Famine was one of the biblical Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. As a result of the green revolution, the incidence of famine has been greatly reduced or eliminated in many parts of the world. However, in spite of the much greater technological and economic resources of the modern world, famine still occurs.

As observed by the economist Amartya Sen, famine is usually a problem of food distribution and poverty, rather than an absolute lack of food. In spite of this, people die. In many cases such as the Great Leap Forward or North Korea in the mid-1990s, famine is caused as an unintentional result of government policy. In other cases, such as Somalia, famine is a consequence of civil disorder as food distribution systems break down.

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