Essays on Causes of Famine in Bangladesh in 1974 Case Study

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The paper "Causes of Famine in Bangladesh in 1974" is a great example of a case study on sociology. The well-known Bangladesh famine of 1974 was characterized by mass starvation which began in March 1974 and ended at around December the same year. The food crisis was characterized by immense flooding along the Brahmaputra River and high mortality. The initial warnings of the famine initially began in 1974 with a sharp increase in prices resulting in widespread starvation in Rangpur district. The situation got worse when the country was hit by heavy rainfall and devastating floods along the Brahmaputra River (Ahmed, 1981).

Furthermore, India refused to corporate with Bangladesh. Rice crops were destroyed and prices rocketed. However, the situation eased in November when foreign aid, as well as a winter crop, arrived. In December, the famine was declared over although excess mortality caused by disease continued into 1975. It is estimated that over 1.5 million deaths occurred during the famine. But what were the immediate causes of the famine? This paper looks at the immediate causes of the famine in Bangladesh that had such devastating effects.

The paper states that the famine did not occur as a result of a sudden decline in the country’ s aggregate availability of food by such natural disasters as floods but rather, the factors that triggered the famine can be traced to the expansionary economic policies adopted by the Bangladesh government immediately after the country got its independence (Ahmed, 1984). In fact, the paper argues that the famine process started early in 1972 when inflation took off in a country that had always been price stable. By the time this inflation exploded in 1974, a large number of the rural people belonging to the lower middle class had already slid downwards into the poverty trap.

Furthermore, the condition worsened when the rural employment opportunities decreased owing to floods and food prices went up by big margins owing to precautionary as well as speculative attacks on the food markets (Ahsan, 1974). The paper concludes that contrary to what many believe the famine in Bangladesh was not caused by natural factors but by lack of proper policies as well as lack of coordination in the government’ s effort to take food to those who most needed it.


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