BICC: New publication | Addressing Food Crises in Violent Conflicts

Food insecurity and hunger continue to threaten the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. In the context of the United Nations Food Systems Summit 2021, BICC researchers Birgit Kemmerling, Conrad Schetter and Lars Wirkus published a briefing paper that looks at the multiple dimensions between current food crises and violent conflicts and identifies four key areas for a comprehensive response that addresses food insecurity and violent conflict.

Many of today’s food crises are linked to violent conflicts in various ways. The number of people affected by conflict-driven food crises increased from 74 million in 2018 to more than 77 million one year later—particularly in north-eastern Nigeria, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen. “The achievement of food security ending hunger and malnutrition and enabling sustainable agriculture production as addressed by Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 ‘Zero Hunger’ depends therefore largely on progress made on SDG 16 in promoting peaceful and inclusive societies”, the authors of Food Systems Summit Brief “Addressing Food Crises in Violent Conflicts” explain.

However, the severe food crises in the past decade have demonstrated the weaknesses of governing food (in)security in conflict settings. While national governments or belligerents are often unable or unwilling to respond adequately to food crises, humanitarian relief operations face the challenges of reaching those people most in need of food supply and simultaneously avoiding exacerbating the conflict. This has left many of the affected communities having to find their own responses to food insecurity. “If food crises are to be effectively addressed, research and policy actions need to tackle both food crises and violent conflict”, the authors stress.

Therefore, they give the following policy recommendations:

  • Respect access to food as a human right;
  • Build a bridge between humanitarian assistance, development and peacebuilding;
  • Integrate local capacities;
  • Improve the data situation and links to early action in conflict settings.

Read the Food Systems Summit Brief “Addressing Food Crises in Violent Conflicts” here.

More information

Source: Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC), 30 April 2021