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close this bookFamine, Needs-assessment and Survival Strategies in Africa (Oxfam, 1993, 40 p.)
close this folder3 Survival strategies and their 'costs'
View the document(introduction...)
View the document3.1 Eating wild foods
View the document3.2 Going hungry
View the document3.3 Food preparation
View the document3.4 Slavery
View the document3.5 Sale of assets (productive/non-productive) and purchase of food
View the document3.6 Trading
View the document3.7 Labouring
View the document3.8 Household migration
View the document3.9 Consurnption of assets
View the document3.10 Borrowing
View the document3.11 Gifts
View the document3.12 Receiving remittances
View the document3.13 Theft

3.12 Receiving remittances

De Waal has noted the importance of this strategy in Wollo, Tigray and Eritrea. In Red Sea Hills area, many men migrated to the major urban centres in 1990 when they had lost virtually all their livestock. However, work was hard to find and the labour market was flooded. As a result, virtually no remittances were reported to have been sent back to their families in rural areas of Red Sea Hills. For a while, women were able to run their households by selling their stores of gold and other valuables. When these ran out, many women began to follow their men-folk to the cities.

Women recall widespread desertion by husbands during 1949 famine in Malawi; many received no remittances (Vaughan). Vaughan's work (and other studies, for example by Greenough on famine in Bengal in 1943) suggest that what may be survival strategies for some individuals may contribute to the impoverishment of others, even within the same 'household'. Severe famines may see a shrinking of generosity, an increase of theft, and perhaps some abandonment of the old and the young.