Intended for healthcare professionals


Aid agencies' warning systems work

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 20 May 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1283

Early warning systems for famines can save lives but need to be monitored, says the World Disasters Report 1995 published last week by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. It describes how fears of another famine in Ethiopia like the one in 1984 when millions starved to death were not realised thanks to the advance warning systems put in place by aid agencies.

The systems collect information about the food supply and demand, including the status of food crops, rainfall, the availability of seed for planting, …

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