New Report Cites Conflict as A Primary Driver of Hunger

Two-thirds of people suffering from acute hunger live in 21 conflict-affected countries.

Last year, 113 million people suffered from acute hunger, driven by conflict, climate change, and economic shocks, according to the new 2019 Global Report on Food Crises by the Food Security Information Network.

The most serious food crises occurred in eight conflict-affected countries, listed in order of severity: Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, the Syrian Arab Republic, Sudan, South Sudan and northeastern Nigeria. Within these eight countries, nearly 72 million people face acute food insecurity.

“Although the number of people suffering from acute hunger has improved slightly compared to a year ago [113 million against 124 million], we cannot let our guard down or deny the evidence: today, violence is the main cause of acute hunger around the world,” said Manuel Sánchez-Montero, Action Against Hunger’s Director of Advocacy and Institutional Relations, who attended the launch event for the report in Brussels.

Action Against Hunger has championed United Nations Security Council action on the links between conflict and hunger that we witness in our areas of operation. In May of last year, the Security Council unanimously agreed to Resolution 2417, a landmark measure that allows the Council to consider a full range of mechanisms to ensure that parties to conflict do not violate international humanitarian law, including using starvation as a weapon of war or preventing people from accessing humanitarian assistance. However, much work remains in ensuring this resolution translates into action on the ground to prevent food crises around the world.

We cannot tackle hunger without addressing conflict. As UN Secretary-General António Guterres writes in the report’s introduction: “Let us all commit to building societies without hunger – and a world at peace.”

Action Against Hunger is the world’s hunger specialist and leader in a global movement that aims to end life-threatening hunger for good within our lifetimes. For 40 years, the humanitarian and development organization has been on the front lines, treating and preventing hunger across nearly 50 countries. It served more than 21 million people in 2018 alone.