The "Perfect Famine" is the kind of famine that happens when everything that can go wrong does go wrong, either because of natural disasters or because of the activities of humans.
That's what is happening in the southern African country of Malawi, where bad weather, poor governance, and profiteering have combined to create a desperate situation. It is at the epicenter of what may become a major famine in the south of the continent. Families are resorting to strategies such as abandoning villages, stealing crops, and eating next year's seed corn - yet Malawi is a green land that should be able to sustain itself. Although many have thought foreign aid would lift the world's poor out of absolute poverty, there is now a growing consensus that the policies of poor countries and ineffectual bureaucracies are major obstacles to sustainable development.
THE PERFECT FAMINE looks at the role of governance through one African example, and discusses the global issues at hand with development experts and economists.
With the support of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat); the European Commission Directorate General for Development to promote better understanding of development issues; the Directorate General for the Environment; and the Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The other titles in this series are:
1. The Road from Rio - Questions the relevance and success of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.
2. Danger: Children at Work - Guatemalan agencies try to discourage child labor and fireworks production by poor families.
3. The Trade Trap - Ghanaian farmers struggle to get a foothold in the international market.
4. Kosovo: Rebuilding the Dream - Assesses the success of UN efforts in rebuilding Kosovo.
6. It Takes a Village - A cyclone in Bangladesh results in the construction of an experimental community health center.
7. Seeing is Believing - Zambia begins a nationwide program to deliver Vitamin A to its population.
8. Cheated of Childhood - The International Labor Organization tries to rescue and rehabilitate the street children of St. Petersburg.
9. Patents and Patients - India battles HIV/AIDS using generic drugs.
10. The Doctor's Story - The US debate over abortion has severe consequences for health care in rural Nepal.
11. Sowing Seeds of Hunger - The AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa has crippled the agricultural community while forcing children to undertake the responsibilities of farming.
12. Up in Smoke - Dependence on tobacco crops and manipulation by the tobacco industry has stunted the economy of Malawi.
Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2003
Copyright Date: 2002
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-121-5
VHS ISBN: 1-59458-004-9