Weird History

The Worst Droughts And Famines In History

Wiping out large portions of populations in the areas affected, the worst droughts and famines in history date back several centuries and chronicle some of the worst natural disasters on record. Droughts and famines still occur to this day, with starvation and malnutrition an unfortunate reality in many parts of the world.

Famine and droughts differ from other devastating natural disasters like the worst earthquakes and the most destructive tornadoes in the extent of suffering and loss of life. Tornadoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis are short-lived, while famine and drought can last years at a time. Most natural disasters cannot be prevented, however, some historical famines could have been. Many were due in part to poor policies created by local governments. For example, major famines in countries like India and the Ukraine were largely caused by mismanagement and the cruel policies of leaders. 

To put things in perspective, the death toll from the worst famine in history greatly exceeds that of the worst earthquakes of the 21st century combined. The longest famines and droughts have devastated communities, often affecting the poorest regions the worst. 

If nothing else, this history of famine and drought has brought awareness to the ongoing issues of malnutrition and starvation. While both continue to this day, there are a growing number of  organizations and charities working to end this unnecessary loss of human life.