Top 10 Terrible Famines in History

10. Great Famine Ireland:  The potato disease in Ireland during 1845 caused the great famine of Ireland. 33 percent of the population was depended on the potato.  The disease was onset in 1845 and lasted for 8 years. British ships prevented the incoming aid which caused 2 million people to flee Ireland and another 1.5 million starved to death. The total population was reduced by 25 percent.

9. The Vietnamese famine of 1945: During Second World War when Vietnam came under control of Japan, the agricultural focus was shifted from cultivation to rubber production. The little crop left was commandeered by the invading force. The devastating drought coupled with flood resulted in mass starvation and death of around 2 million people.

Top 10 Terrible Famines in History

8. North Korean Famine: Due to torrential rain falls and the poor leadership, North Korea suffered tremendous famine from 1994-8. Around 3 million people died due to malnutrition and starvation.

7. Russian Famine of 1921: Apart from losing millions in World War and multiples Civil wars, Russia face another disaster in the form of famine in the 20th century. The Bolshevik soldiers forced the farmer for their crops, as a result they stopped growing crops. The consequences were a shortage of food and seed. By 1921 around 5 million Russians died.

6. Bengal Famine of 1943: coupled with cyclones and the aftermaths of WWII, Bengal ended up in the famine. Burma was the trading partner of Bengal, which after WWII, Japan delayed the imports. Around 7 million Bengalis were dead due to starvation.

5. The Bengal famine of 1770: Bengal has a history of famine. This famine wiped out one third of the total population of Bengal. The ignorance of the then governance by the East India Company and increase in taxation  coupled with drought and shortage of crops resulted famine. It killed around 10 million people.

4. Soviet Famine: From 1932-33, within a year around 10 million people were perished by the famine. The policy of collectivization was the main cause of famine, which was administered by Josef Stalin. Lands and crops were taken away from peasants forcefully. Hidden crops were burned which actually were seeds to be planted in next season. The killing and mass starvation lasted for one year.

3. Chalisa famine: in 1783 in North India, 11 million people died due to mass starvation. Significantly less rain withered and died. Lack of food and water resulted in wiping off of livestock. In just one year, 11 million Indians died out of starvation.

Top 10 Famines in History

2. Chinese Famine of 1907: East Central China was going through a poor harvest when a storm hit and flooded 40,000 square miles of agricultural land. It is estimated that around 5000 people died out of starvation in those days. 25 million Chinese died in this short lived event.

1. Great Chinese famine: Another famine caused by the change in government policy; the Chinese communist leaders forced to change the population and implemented the Communal farming. Another factor was the new methods of planning which failed. Around 43 million Chinese died in this famine.


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