Paul Howe addresses the definition of famine for Washington Post

The UN’s hunger monitoring initiative, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), uses a five-tier system to determine whether a famine should be declared in a certain region.

Most recently, on March 1, 2024, the IPC activated the Famine Review Committee for a second time to analyze the risk of famine in the Gaza Strip.

A Washington Post article on famine and food insecurity in Gaza cites Paul Howe, Irwin H. Rosenberg Professor of Nutrition and Human Security at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

In the article, Howe, who is the director of the Feinstein International Center, addresses the technical definition of famine and the history of its usage.

Howe notes that prior to the creation of the IPC scale, “the lack of an agreed definition delayed humanitarian responses, made it difficult to prioritize resources across different contexts, and complicated efforts to deter future famines.”

Read the Washington Post article here