IRIN Examines Famine Action Mechanism Initiative Aimed At Using Data, AI, New Financing Mechanisms To End Famine

IRIN: Famine and the machine
“…[A] multi-billion dollar venture is betting that big data and smart money can make famine a thing of the past. The Famine Action Mechanism initiative, or FAM, is led by the World Bank and draws on its $1.8 billion kitty for famine-prone countries. It is taking a fresh look at how famines happen and what it would take to prevent them, including artificial intelligence (AI)-driven analytics, social safety nets, and new forms of financing. The FAM project is rooted in the belief that donor funding decisions now rely too much on ‘personal networks as well as political discretion.’ … Critics, however, say no amount of machine learning and creative financial architecture will change donor decision-making, and warning systems and monitoring tools already exist. It’s political will, not algorithms, they say, that’s the missing ingredient…” (Parker, 10/12).

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