Food Insecurity: A Devastating Consequence—And Weapon—of Conflict

Bottom Line: Behind the curtain of violent conflict often resides a potentially devastating, long-term issue that demands global attention: food insecurity as both a weapon and consequence of war. Militant groups recruit the hungry with promises of the next meal, and states such as North Korea and Syria control food as a mechanism of internal power and psychological warfare. The problem of feeding the world’s hungry – many of whom find themselves in the crossfire of conflict – is only expected to get worse as climates change, populations grow and the rural migrate to booming megacities.

Background: Given the complex relationship between conflict and those experiencing food insecurity, those most in need of emergency assistance often reside in war-torn countries. This year, 489 million people out of the world’s 815 million hungry were located within countries affected by conflict, according to the World Food Program (WFP).

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