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The Aid LabUnderstanding Bangladesh’s Unexpected Success$
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Naomi Hossain

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198785507

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198785507.001.0001

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(p.91) 5 1974
The Aid Lab

Naomi Hossain

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the pivotal event in the history of Bangladesh’s development project: the famine of 1974. It examines different explanations for the famine, and concludes that under the post-war conditions, at a time of Cold War and global economic food crisis, such a crisis was all but inevitable. A combination of floods, an ill-equipped administrative response, and the use of food aid as a Cold War weapon by the US sentenced 1.5 million people—in all, 2 per cent of a population that was already greatly weakened by poverty and war—to death by starvation and its related syndromes.

Keywords:   famine, entitlement theory, Cold War, food aid, floods, triage theory, famine relief, famine economics

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