The number of people starving to death in protracted conflicts is far greater than the number of people dying as a direct result of violence. It is therefore crucial to consider food security an indispensable link in the process of achieving peace. These inter-dependencies are underlined by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in the United Nations 2030 Agenda, and their common objective of building peaceful and resilient societies.
Conflict and Food Crisis: A Mutually Reinforcing Partnership
Recent investigations reveal the intimate linkages between conflict and food insecurity; each can be the cause or result of the other. In their joint report on “Monitoring food security in countries with conflict situations,” the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) updated the Security Council on food security in 18 countries currently in conflict or post-conflict periods.
Using the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), the report shows that countries with ongoing conflicts have the highest numbers of food insecure people. In some, these percentages are alarming, including 37% of the total South Sudan population, 50% in Syria, and up to 89% of Syrian refugees in Lebanon.