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Guidelines for IPC Famine Classification

Key parameters to be included in IPC Harmonized Technical Manual
Training Resources

From the IPC perspective, Famine is a classification based on evidence that has been collected and analyzed according to minimum standards and technical consensus.


This note addresses:

  1. The definition of Famine;
  2. Use of evidence on death rates when deaths are also caused by trauma;
  3. Minimum evidence and parameters needed to declare and project a Famine, to classify areas as Phase 4! and to highlight an Elevated Risk of Famine that cannot be confirmed nor disproven;
  4. Communication of Famine, including: 4.1. Declaration of Famine; 4.2. Projection of Famine; 4.3. Elevated Risk of Famine that cannot be confirmed nor disproven due to limited evidence; and Likelihood of Famine in a projected worse‐case scenario.


This note was endorsed by the IPC Global Steering Committee on 25 November 2016. Information in this note overrides any reference to Famine included in IPC Technical Manual v2.0 or accompanying notes when these are contradictory to the criteria included in this note.

IPC Food Security Working Group & IPC Nutrition Working Group
Food Security ClustersFEWS NETFAOThe Comité permanent Inter-Etats de Lutte contre la Sécheresse dans le Sahel (CILSS)CARE InternationalACF
The World Food Programme (WFP)unicefSICASave the ChildrenOxfamThe Joint research Center (JRC) of the European CommissionIGAD