The Bangladesh famine of 1974 refers to a period of mass starvation beginning in March 1974 and ending in about December of the same year. The famine is considered the worst in recent years; it was characterised by massive flooding along the Brahmaputra river as well as high mortality.
Warnings of famine began in March, 1974 when the price of rice rose sharply. In this month “widespread starvation started in Rangpur district”, the region which would become one of three most afflicted. It had only been two years and three months since the end of the war for Bangladeshi independece (December 1971) and the country's formal creation. In many ways, Bangladesh's new state and devastated infrastructure and markets were wholly unprepared to deal with the situation. Corruption among the newly appointed officials was rampant and widespread. In April, though government officials reiterated that the crisis would be temporary, rice prices continued to rise sharply and reports of starvation became more widespread. From April to July, Bangladesh was hit by heavy rainfall and a series of devastating floods along the Brahmaputra river, with notably destructive incidents in May, July In addition, neighboring India declined to cooperate with the government of Bangladesh. Rice crops were devastated and prices rocketed. In October rice prices peaked and conditions eased by November 1974 as foreign aid and the winter crop arrived. The famine was officially over by December, though... Read More