UN Adopts Resolution Addressing Conflict-Induced Famine
Last Thursday, the United Nation (UN) Security Council unanimously agreed on a first-ever resolution that addresses conflict-induced famine and links hunger to war. The resolution also condemns starvation as a method of warfare.
The newly-adopted UN Security Council (2417) calls on all stakeholders in conflicts to abide by international laws that prohibit attacks on civilians and markets, irrigation systems, agriculture, and other essential products that support food production and distribution.
The UN World Food Program says that 60 percent of the 815 million chronically hungry in the world – or 489 million people — live in a conflict zone and suffer man-made, preventable hunger.
The organization body praised the U.N Security Council for adopting a resolution that helps to solve the conflict-related hunger.
“Today’s Security Council’s vote is a huge step forward toward breaking the cycle of conflict and hunger that stands in the way of prosperity and peace for hundreds of millions of people,” said WFP Head David Beasley.
The resolution is a historic agreement and a significant step towards eliminating the use of a strategy that creates famine as a weapon of war said Dutch U.N. Deputy Ambassador Lise Gregoire Van Haaren.
“Innocent civilians suffering from hunger due to the consequences of war are at the heart of this text. It clearly acknowledges the fact that conflict can lead to food security and recognizes the need to break the vicious cycle between armed conflict and food insecurity,” the Van Haaren said.
The policy, sponsored by Kuwait, the Ivory Coast, Sweden, and the Netherlands, establishes an early-warning system for famine in conflict-torn areas. The resolution requires the secretary-general to report to the UN Security Council quickly when a risk of food insecurity in war-torn areas occurs.
The resolution allows UN sanctions to be used to punish “individuals or entities obstructing the delivery of humanitarian assistance, or access to, or distribution of, humanitarian assistance.”
Armed conflict and climate change have caused the world hunger to increase
In 2016 UN data revealed that 11 percent of the world’s population suffered from starvation, the first increase in the last 15 years.
The proportion of malnourished people dropped between 1990 and 2015, due to several initiatives introduced by global communities. In 2015, the UN member countries endorsed Sustainable Development Goals, which hoped to eliminate hunger by 2030. But, a UN report showed that the figure was on the rise again.
The recent situation in Yemen exemplifies how a prolonged armed conflict has forced people to go hungry. According to the UN last December, around eight million people were on the brink of starvation.
“This has forced me to provide for my family by any means, including searching for food in the rubbish dumps or asking people for aid,” said a Yemeni civilian named Mahdi Abdulla.
Besides geographical conditions and droughts, armed conflict has also triggered food insecurity in Africa. According to a February 2017 report from the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, 19 African nations suffered from severe food insecurity, while ten of them experienced civil conflict.
Is it possible to end world hunger?
As long as war is everywhere, it is almost impossible to end hunger. No matter what programs the U.N. implements and regulations it passes, the attempt to end hunger ends in vain as long as there is no peace.
“Unless the wars stop, what we build by day will be undone by night,” Andre Vornic, a spokesman for the World Food Programme (WFP) in Rome, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Without peace, “we stand no chance of ending hunger, whatever else we do,” he added.