ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Aid Agencies, NGOs and Institutionalisation of Famine

Aid Agencies, NGOs and Institutionalisation of Famine Having little to live on, one knows better than to value life too much. -Lao Tsu, 6th century B C Introduction THE famines witnessed today in Sudan and Ethiopia are nothing new to the region. It can be said that these famines are rooted in history and are part of the cyclic nature of a number of factors; the undependable climate of the region, the oppression of the peasants by the state, war and civil strife, and most important, the subsequent vulnerability of th*e peasantry. Very few,if any,societies in Africa, or for that matter, in the world, are pre-capitalist in nature. Capital has penetrated nearly every region of the globe and continues to do so. This means that the class of producers is everywhere subject to the demands of a claimant class. The claimant class, those who depend upon the peasant producers to produce their daily bread for them, uses exploitation and oppression to maintain the system whereby it is the beneficiary of the labour of the peasants. Without the forces of exploitation and oppression working against them, peasants would be able to consume more of their own' produce, reserve more significant stores of grain and seed, and subsequently might not necessarily be 'peasants' any longer.
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