The number of conflicts has risen in the past decade, particularly in countries already facing high levels of food insecurity, so has the scale of conflict-related hunger. In 2017, conflict and related violence were the primary drivers of food insecurity in 18 countries.
People living in areas affected by conflict are three times more likely to be undernourished than those living in more stable developing countries.
On average, in countries affected by conflict, 56% of the population live in rural areas where livelihoods largely depend on agriculture.
Some parties to a conflict deliberately deny humanitarian assistance or target humanitarian workers and assets. In the worst cases, conflict actors have actively targeted civilians’ food access, agriculture and productive assets. The return of famine and near-famine conditions in several countries in recent years is a direct consequence of growing conflict and a disregard for international norms.
The gravity of this situation led the UN Security Council to act. The landmark United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2417, unanimously adopted on 24 May 2018, strongly condemns the starvation of civilians as a method of warfare and the unlawful denial of humanitarian access.
Addressing the underlying causes of hunger and supporting resilient small-scale agriculture can contribute to stabilization and recovery.