The World Bank’s latest tool for fighting famine: Artificial intelligence


The Washington Post  | Sun, Sep 23, 2018

by Peter Holley


The group is partnering with Silicon Valley to tackle a problem affecting millions around the world.

Despite being a slow-moving disaster, famine is notoriously difficult to predict.

The reason for this, experts say, is that severe food shortages are hardly ever about food supply alone.

A famine might be triggered by drought or some other climatic interference in crop production, but other powerful forces usually bring the scourge to full bloom: food price inflation, political instability, military conflict and even too much rain.

“The root cause of famine is extremely complex,” said Franck Bousquet, senior director of the World Bank Fragility, Conflict, and Violence Group (FCV). “Usually, the poorest and most vulnerable are the most affected and the least able to cope with shocks that other populations can absorb. Out of the last 10 major famines, nine have resulted from conflict and war."

“It’s not only about drought,” he added.

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