The Azraq refugee camp is located a hundred kilometers from Amman, the Jordanian capital and is home to over 32,000 displaced persons. © Florian Seriex for Action Against Hunger Jordan – 2016
May 24, 2018 ─ Today, the United Nations Security Council adopted a new resolution recognizing conflict-related food insecurity as a peace and security issue. The international humanitarian organization Action Against Hunger welcomes the passage of this new resolution and the Security Council’s prioritization of political solutions to end conflict-related food insecurity.
“The adoption of today’s resolution paves the way for the Secretary General to alert the Security Council to contexts where conflict is threatening food security,” said Action Against Hunger Canada Chief Executive Danny Glenwright. “We are hopeful that political engagement at the highest levels will prevent these situations from deteriorating into major food crises.” Action Against Hunger has championed Security Council engagement on this issue as a result of the links between conflict and hunger that the organization has witnessed in its areas of operation.
As the UN Secretary General noted in a May 14, 2018 report, ten of the world’s 13 most severe food crises were fueled by conflict in 2016. After more than a decade of steady decline, in the past four years, largely because of an upsurge in conflict, the number of people suffering from hunger in the world rose dramatically from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016.
“In the past year, an estimated 20 million people were at risk of famine, all of them in countries devastated by violence,” said Action Against Hunger Canada Chief Executive Danny Glenwright. “Famines are never unexpected: they are always manmade. Humanitarian actors cannot resolve conflicts. If we are to avert the alarming reversal in the world’s hard-earned progress to end hunger that we are witnessing, the international community must make hunger a global political priority and address the political issues at the root of these conflicts.”
Through its discussions on conflict and hunger, Action Against Hunger urges the Security Council to insist on the necessity of upholding international humanitarian law and protecting principled humanitarian action in responding to acute food insecurity. Too often, the humanitarian community sees scorched earth tactics, as well as the deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure undertaken by parties to conflict as war tactics—with devastating consequences for the food security and safety of civilians.
“WE ARE IN THE MIDST OF A PERFECT STORM THAT THREATENS TO REVERSE FOURTEEN YEARS OF MONUMENTAL GLOBAL PROGRESS,” SAID GLENWRIGHT. “WE WELCOME THE SECURITY COUNCIL’S RECOGNITION OF ITS ROLE IN SUPPORTING POLITICAL SOLUTIONS TO THESE CRISES.”
In recognition of the passage of the Security Council resolution today, Action Against Hunger calls upon all actors to agree to concerted action to break the vicious cycle of conflict and hunger. In particular, Action Against Hunger urges a comprehensive approach to break the cycle, simultaneously considering preparedness and the need for adequate agricultural policies at national levels; ensuring that security measures do not threaten livelihoods, worsen food insecurity and fuel political instability and violence; and demanding strict adherence to international humanitarian law, accountability for non-compliance and mobilization at highest levels in cases of use of hunger as a weapon of war.
Action Against Hunger welcomes today’s adoption of the new Security Council resolution as a meaningful way to reinforce concrete discussions on the fight against hunger with urgent political decisions to resolve conflicts. Action Against Hunger stands ready to engage with relevant actors to accelerate global efforts to break the cycle of conflict and hunger.