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Food Assistance in Conflict: Cure or Curse. Zlatan Mili š i ć Chief, Programme Guidance and Policy Service, World Food Programme. F ood insecurity and conflict. Food is vital to people’s survival and well-being.

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food assistance in conflict cure or curse

Food Assistance in Conflict:Cure or Curse

Zlatan Milišić

Chief, Programme Guidance and Policy Service,

World Food Programme

f ood insecurity and conflict
Food insecurity and conflict
  • Food is vital to people’s survival and well-being.
  • Conflict undermines the lives and livelihoods of people, generating an acute food and livelihood crisis.
  • Food insecurity can fuel and intensify conflict.
famine in somalia
Famine in Somalia..

258,000 dead

8 million people assisted..

What if we hadn’t been there?

saving lives and reducing suffering through food assistance
Saving lives and reducing suffering through food assistance
  • Provides daily subsistence and comfort to people who have lost everything.
  • Reduces desperation and negative coping strategies.
  • Ensures immediate life-saving ‘medicine’ for severely malnourished children.
contributing to build peaceful countries and communities
Contributing to build peaceful countries and communities
  • Contributes to social cohesion and reduced community tension
  • Supports social re-integration and demobilisation efforts
  • Contributes to stability and reduce vulnerability.

‘Transforming the vicious cycle of food insecurity and conflict into a virtuous cycle of food security and stability’

food assistance as a right
Food assistance as a right
  • The humanitarian imperative
  • People have a right to food assistance (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant of Economic and Social Rights, Fourth Geneva Convention)
  • Deliberate starvation is a ‘war crime’
re framing the debate
Re-framing the debate
  • Identifying the challenges and adapting to respond to them
  • Shifting from food aid to food assistance has allowed for better and more relevant programmes.
  • New tools to strengthen programming: transfer modalities, analytical and operational frameworks, mechanisms for engaging with people.
  • Mitigating risks and learning from experience: doing better, not less
curse or cure
Curse or cure?
  • The cure/curse dichotomy is false. We need to get the balance right
  • Food assistance saves lives, reduces suffering, and increases well-being.
  • Food assistance can contribute to building peaceful societies and prevent violent conflict.
  • People have a right to receive assistance.
  • Humanitarians should adaptation and learn from experience to respond to needs.