For millions around the world, conflict perpetuates a deadly and persistent cycle of protection risks and food insecurity. Not only is the connection between hunger, protection, and conflict strong, evidence shows it is growing more widespread. The World Food Programme reports that 70% of people experiencing hunger live in areas affected by conflict and a Global Protection Cluster (GPC) analysis finds that in food insecurity contexts (IPC3 or above), there are now more people in need of protection than last year. Despite this widespread connection, humanitarian approaches to addressing these mutually reinforcing needs are often siloed and more systematic approaches to analyze and act on food insecurity and protection risks through a multisectoral lens are sorely needed.
The identification of protection risks and their connections to food insecurity is fundamental to effectively reducing and addressing such needs in crisis contexts. Utilizing participatory approaches that integrate the perspectives and priorities of communities and local actors is a critical starting point with profound and proven impacts on how humanitarians understand protection risks and food insecurity and support the rights of people affected by crises.
In addition to dissecting the linkages between food insecurity and protection, participatory approaches help reveal a diversity of experiences and the need for tailored solutions. The risks and challenges that people face can be highly diversified depending on geography, conflict dynamics, and identity factors. For example, among people affected by conflict-induced hunger and protection risks, those who are marginalized due to gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, or other characteristics often bear the brunt of the impacts, yet they have the fewest positive coping strategies to rely on for assistance. In this event, diverse speakers will draw attention to the importance of community-led approaches highlighting challenges, practical solutions and best practices from specific contexts.
This is one of the hybrid side events to be convened on the margins of the 2023 ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment (HAS), which builds on this year’s HAS theme: “Strengthening humanitarian assistance at a time of unprecedented global humanitarian needs: driving transformation and solutions to address the urgent challenges of rising food insecurity and the risk of famine, protection risks and climate change.”