Conflict and insecurity in 21 countries, including South Sudan and Syria, contributed to almost 74 million people facing severe food insecurity conditions in 2019. Conflict disrupts agriculture, impacts market access and forces families to flee their homes. Today, 1 out of 110 people in the world are displaced.
This leads to increasing pressure on host communities where refugees settle – most often in nearby regions. Shrinking resources, including food, end up split amongst a bigger population, resulting in major consequences for food security for all.
Extreme climate events, mainly droughts, triggered food crises in 14 countries in 2019, including Somalia and Kenya. Another year of poor rainfall decimated livestock herds and negatively impacted crop production, leading to low harvests within countries. This also exacerbated the situation in a number of conflict affected areas.
Staple crops such as wheat, rice and maize are particularly at risk from such climate events. What all of this means is that millions of parents, especially those that are dependent on farming, are struggling to access sufficient food to feed their children every day.
Escalating food prices compounded the issue in many countries – the price increases themselves mainly driven by conflict, weather and economic shocks. Higher prices for staple foods, such as cereals and rice, make it harder for families to access sufficient food.
In countries where climate events or conflict are already impacting food production, the situation becomes particularly devastating for families when the price of food also begins to rise.