Hunger and Conflict

Thank you for contacting me about hunger and conflict. 

The link between conflict and hunger is clear. The UN's Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Report (2023), affirmed that conflict and violence are the primary causes of hunger, malnutrition, and famine. 

Conflicts around the world are only exacerbating the existing world food crisis, evidenced in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. However, even before the war in Ukraine, millions of people around the world were suffering from food insecurity and different forms of malnutrition. It was therefore right that, under our G7 Presidency, the UK secured the first ever famine prevention compact. Germany is now picking up the baton and taking this further with the Global Alliance for Food Security. As part of this Alliance, the G7 have agreed a collective commitment to provide $4.5 billion to mitigate the scale of the global food security crisis.

I do, however, recognise that there is more to be done. Speaking at the UN Security Council, UK representatives made it clear that we can make better use of the tools we already have at our disposal, including the rules established in UN Resolutions 2417, 2286 and 2573 which are designed to give timely, evidence-based warnings when parties to conflict are blocking access, destroying indispensable civilian objects, or using starvation as a method of warfare. 

In light of this, I welcome that the UK Government has outlined how it will work to help prevent conflict and support conflict recovery in the 2023 International Development White Paper, as well as how the UK will help transform global food systems. The UK will look to cutting edge technology- including AI and data management- to help with international efforts to predict conflict and take early action, and will also work with civil society to find inclusive and sustainable resolutions to conflict.

Furthermore, the UK is working with other UN Security Council members to improve reporting on conflict-induced food insecurity and increase accountability for the use of starvation as a weapon of war. Additionally, the UK Government is supporting the development of a legal handbook on Conflict, Hunger and International Humanitarian Law.

The UK also hosted a Global Food Security Summit to boost international efforts to tackle hunger and malnutrition in November 2023. The Summit brought together key development actors and galvanised support for long term, evidence-based solutions and future-fit partnerships to prevent food security crises and save lives.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.