A woman pulls a sack of food distributed by WFP in Ganyiel, Unity region, South Sudan, May 2017.
Photo: ©FAO/Albert Gonzalez Farran
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The Famine Action Mechanism (FAM) is a new partnership between international organisations and leading global technology firms, which aims to tackle the root causes of hunger in order to prevent future famines.

The United Nations, the World Bank, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Microsoft Corp., Google and Amazon Web Services announced in late September 2018 a global partnership to prevent future famines: The Famine Action Mechanism (FAM).

In the past, responses to these devastating events has often come too late, after many lives have already been lost, incurring high assistance costs. The FAM seeks to change this by moving towards famine prevention, preparedness and early action, the World Bank reported. The initiative will use the predictive power of data to trigger funding through appropriate financing instruments, working closely with existing systems.

The FAM aims to promote investments that tackle the root causes of famine at the first warning signs, according to the World Bank. It aims to help in building vulnerable people’s livelihoods, safety nets and coping mechanisms. For this, it will use state-of-the-art technology to provide more powerful early warning to identify when food crises threaten to turn into famines.

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