Food crisis “only the beginning”, says UN on World Food Day

18 October 2021

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The ongoing global food crisis is “only the beginning” of food insecurity and conflict over resources, according to the UN.

Speaking at a panel discussion to mark World Food Day on 16 October 2021, Annalisa Conte, a director of the World Food Programme, explained that the global food crisis was likely to get worse.

“Conflict and climate stresses are destroying lives, crops and livelihoods, and undermining people’s ability to feed themselves,” said Conte.   

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“Tragically, the climate crisis is set to be a catalyst for further conflict over competition for resources,” she added. “What we see now is only the beginning.”

Speakers at the World Food Day panel emphasised that conflict is a driver of food insecurity, yet food insecurity leads in turn to further conflict and violence.

Sajjad Malik, a director of the UN Refugee Agency, noted the impact of food shortages and famine on refugees and other displaced people.

“We need to collectively ensure humanitarian needs are met while supporting local government to build inclusive, healthy food systems,” he added.

A September 2021 report by the Institute for Security Studies demonstrated that food insecurity leads not only to hunger and starvation but also to the increased likelihood of violence. This would include Islamist terrorism and persecution of Christians.

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