People in conflict zones among most at risk of hunger

Aug 17, 2011
Conflict destroys agricultural infrastructure, lessening people's access to food.

With the latest World Bank food price report charting a 33 percent rise in the cost of food since last year, food security is becoming an increasing global concern.

Dr. Monika Barthwal-Datta, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow from the University of Sydney's Center for International Security Studies (CISS), says people living in conflict zones are among those most vulnerable to the soaring price of staple foods.

"Communities in conflict have less access to food because their agricultural lands are being destroyed and their infrastructure is being destroyed. Marginalized and poor communities are even further disadvantaged," Dr. Barthwal-Datta told ABC Radio National's PM program.

Dr. Barthwal-Datta is leading the CISS 'Food Security in Asia' Project, a two-year venture funded by the MacArthur Foundation examining how political, economic, demographic and will impact dynamics in the region in the coming decades, and the consequences of this for regional stability.

The project is working to understand the poorly-understood links between food supply and demand, and political instability and human insecurity.

Following on from this research, Dr. Barthwal-Datta says Asia is one of the most vulnerable regions to in the world. With people in the region spending up to 80 percent of their income on food, spikes are potentially devastating and can make buying food impossible.

"Asia is not only home to the majority of the poor in the world, it's also home to the largest number of the hungry in the world," Dr. Barthwal-Datta told PM. "About 62 percent of the world's hungry live in the Asia-Pacific region.

"We know that states in the region haven't been very good at managing their food insecurity problems, yet at the same time there's huge potential within the region to move towards greater food security by investing in agriculture and smallholder farmers, to not only increase food production but to actually support the livelihoods of these people."

Explore further: Texas OKs most new history textbooks amid outcry

Provided by University of Sydney

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study: U.S. food insecurity increasing

Dec 20, 2005

At least 38 million U.S. citizens can't count on having enough food throughout the year -- and Tufts University scientists say the number is increasing.

Three billion Asians face food crisis threat: research

Oct 28, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- The escalating cost of rice and other foodstuffs across Asia could cause the reversal of policy reforms, social unrest and deepening poverty for over 3 billion Asians – according to new ...

Recommended for you

Study identifies why re-educating torturers may not work

Nov 21, 2014

Many human rights educators assume – incorrectly, as it turns out – that police and military officers in India who support the torture of suspects do so because they are either immoral or ignorant. This ...

Research helps raise awareness of human trafficking

Nov 21, 2014

Human trafficking –– or the control, ownership and sale of another human being for monetary gain –– was a common occurrence centuries ago, but many believe it doesn't exist in this day and age and not in this country.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.