Conflict and Hunger

Conflict increases food insecurity. Airstrikes destroy markets. Landmines destroy farmland. And bombs destroy food supply chains. Insecurity Insight uses data to help address this.

In May 2023, it was warned that acute food insecurity is likely to deteriorate further in eighteen global hunger spots during the period from June to November of the same year. Conflict or insecurity was identified as a key driver or aggravating factor in twelve of these.

Five years previously in May 2018, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2417 acknowledging the link between violent conflict and food insecurity. This recognised that conflict impacts food insecurity in many ways, both directly and indirectly. Farmers and pastoralists are displaced from their land and grazing areas. Food stocks are destroyed. Simultaneously, food supply chains are disrupted, food prices increase and household purchasing power is diminished. Civilians suffer.

Yet, despite agreement that violent conflict creates food insecurity, detailed documentation of how it does so and variations between contexts is lacking. This is a significant challenge for effective humanitarian responses, advocacy campaigns and the anticipation of future food insecurity crises.

The Food Insecurity and Violent Conflict (FIVC) Dataset

To help address the knowledge deficit concerning how specific conflict incidents contribute to food insecurity, Insecurity Insight documents and analyses these using open source intelligence (OSINT) methods. This information is compiled (and available for download) in the Food Insecurity and Violent Conflict (FIVC) dataset. We are also working with Dataminr, one of the world’s leading artificial intelligence corporations, as one of their AI for Good Partners to help automate the identification and classification of incidents.

The categorisation of incidents in the FIVC dataset is based on the Monitoring and Evaluation of Food Insecurity in Conflicts (MEFIC) framework, an analytical approach for understanding how armed conflict affects food insecurity.

The aim of the FIVC dataset is to support the humanitarian community with programming which helps prevent hunger and to contribute to better understandings of the connections between conflict and food insecurity.

Currently, the FIVC dataset focuses on Niger between January 2015 and September 2023, Syria and Somalia between 2017 and 2022 as well as Sudan following the severe escalation of violence in mid-April 2023. Corresponding analytical reports based on the data for these three countries are available at the bottom of this page. The FIVC data is also in the process of being expanded to cover further countries which will allow for greater cross-country analysis.

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