Food systems in protracted crises: Strengthening resilience against shocks and conflicts
This literature review (PDF) by IDS provides an overview of the recent evidence on what food systems look like in protracted crises and the interventions mentioned in the literature to build more resilient food systems against shocks and conflicts. Food systems are changing and will continue to change in the near future due to many transformative drivers, such as population growth, globalisation, climate change, and pollution. A key trend in food systems is that food insecurity and malnutrition are increasingly concentrated in countries with protracted crises. Since 2010, there has been a rising trend in the proportion of people in countries with protracted crises facing undernourishment, whereas it has been declining for all other developing countries. Food insecurity is not only a consequence of conflict, but can also fuel and drive conflicts, especially in the presence of unstable political regimes, a youth bulge, stunted economic development, slow or falling economic growth, and high inequality. There is an acknowledgement that food insecurity, undernutrition, vulnerabilities to shocks and conflicts, extreme poverty and youth unemployment are all related to food systems. While stressing the importance of access to agriculture inputs, food markets, service providers and infrastructure as prerequisites for successful and efficient food systems, this report shows that all these features of chain processes are heavily affected in countries in protracted crises. In crises or after severe shock situations, men, women, boys and girls are exposed to different types of risks and challenges, and have specific coping strategies related to food and nutrition security. Interventions in food systems that increase food security and nutrition are important to reduce violence and conflict and to become more resilient to shocks. Specific attention should be given to: 1) Linking emergency assistance and food aid to development and vice versa; 2) Implementing social protection schemes; 3) Private sector development in food systems; 4) Access to finance by building financial systems and; 5) Developing the institutional environment.