Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
First, from your link:

0-14 years: 43% (male 1,558,730; female 1,548,175)

With 43% of the population under 14 years old crunch time hasn't, again, happened.

From here [html of a pdf]:

Rwanda is definitely on the edge of food insecurity.  FAO (2007) reports an average per capita calorie intake in the years from 2002-2004 of around 2,100, which is just the minimum of intake for humans, and does certainly not allow any downward variation or distributional biases without jeopardizing food security ...

At this point the food situation in Rwanda is not desperate.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri May 1st, 2009 at 07:43:16 PM EST
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The critical factor, it seems, is the percentage of the population existing at a low caloric intake.  Starvation does some strange things

Standard personality tests revealed that the starving individuals experienced a large rise in the "neurotic triad" -- hypochondriasis, depression, and hysteria

Get a lot of people exhibiting hysteria and you get mass hysteria and then Moral Panic:

Moral Panics have several distinct features. The process by which these are created is best explained with Cohen's Deviancy Amplification Spiral:

    * Concern - There must be awareness that the behaviour of the group or category in question is likely to have a negative impact on society.
    * Hostility - Hostility towards the group in question increases, and they become "folk devils". A clear division forms between "them" and "us".
    * Consensus - Though concern does not have to be nationwide, there must be widespread acceptance that the group in question poses a very real threat to society. It is important at this stage that the "moral entrepreneurs" are vocal and the "folk devils" appear weak and disorganised.
    * Disproportionality - The action taken is disproportionate to the actual threat posed by the accused group.
    * Volatility - Moral panics are highly volatile and tend to disappear as quickly as they appeared due to a wane in public interest or news reports changing to another topic.

So one hand washes the other, as it where.

The reality of needing to stop starving leads to a condition favorable for Moral Panic which leads mass murder of a The Other along the classic time line:

Right Now:  the murders get to eat the food of the murdered

Short Term: the murders get the land of the murdered to crop food.  The living get a greatly increased daily food supply due to drop in demand.

Long Term:  no solution if the country doesn't use the time to build an economic system independent of subsistence agriculture.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri May 1st, 2009 at 08:10:23 PM EST
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