Famine and Conflict: The Unfolding Food Security Crisis

Humanitarian agencies project that more than 20 million people are at risk of severe food insecurity, starvation, and famine this summer in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia, and Northeastern Nigeria. Common to all these contexts is the onset and prevalence of armed conflict. Furthermore, WFP has reported that every percentage point increase in food insecurity leads to an almost two percent increase in migration. The United Nations Secretary-General recently declared that $4.4 billion of funding is needed by July to stave off famine in these countries.

This crisis leads to stark and hard questions for the humanitarian sector, and for the broader international community. What has led to these circumstances? In terms of humanitarian response, what type of engagement is needed? How can and should humanitarians grapple with the demands of immediate response while also engaging in more long-term prevention and resilience work? On the global level, does the impending crisis in these four countries represent an exceptional “perfect” storm of negative factors, or are these cases representative of a worrying trend in global food security?  If this crisis is indeed preventable, what responsibilities do the political, donor, and humanitarian community share to ensure that this crisis is averted?

This podcast will look to explore how the risk, and reality, of famine has come about in the four countries in question. Additionally, this podcast will assess what is needed in the immediate term, as well as the areas of policy development and implementation needed to address global food insecurity.

May, 2017