Political Solutions Needed To Address Food Security In Conflict, Researcher Writes

The Conversation: Nobel peace prize: hunger is a weapon of war but the World Food Programme can’t build peace on its own
Susanne Jaspars, research associate at both the London School of Economics and Political Science’s Conflict and Civil Society Research Unit and the SOAS Food Studies Centre at the University of London

“…Hunger has been used as a weapon of war for many years, but the issue has recently risen to prominence because of the increased risk of mass starvation in today’s conflicts. … The link between war and hunger was recognized explicitly with the passing of a U.N. security council resolution in 2018 which prohibited the use of hunger as a weapon of war. Since then, [the World Food Programme (WFP)] has been working more actively to understand the link between food security and conflict and how it can contribute to building peace. … However, WFP cannot address the political causes of hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition with food aid — or in fact with any technical intervention. Conflicts need political solutions and crimes of mass starvation need to be prosecuted. … There is a danger that WFP becomes a substitute for political action to address the causes of conflict or for prosecuting crimes of mass starvation. This would actually perpetuate the problem, as structural causes of hunger and malnutrition remain unaddressed. … With the spotlight of the Nobel peace prize, WFP can do much by making the political causes of hunger in conflict visible, helping to identify famine crimes, promoting effective assistance that is specific to particular contexts, and using its power to bring about political action” (10/9).

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