David Beasley, the head of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) told the 15-member body that resolving conflicts and ensuring peace are indispensable to achieve food security.
That link, he underscored, is both strong and highly destructive.
“If you don’t know where your child’s next meal is coming from, you may be forced to make impossible choices,” he said, noting that for one per cent rise in the rate of hunger, there is a two per cent increase in migration.
Speaking via videoconference from Biel, Switzerland, he called on the Council to help end war and stressed that the price of programmes to tackle the root causes of hunger is far cheaper that the cost of the current conflict cycle.
Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, told the Council that about two-thirds of hungry people live in areas where there is armed conflict and war.
“This Council’s main responsibility is peace and international security,” he said. “In other words, this Council can help prevent famine to ever occur again.”
Yemen is a prime example of how war has led to mass hunger. The debilitated health sector as a result of the Pan-Arab war on Yemeni rebels has left hundreds of thousands of children at risk of starvation and death. More than 350,000 children are at risk of starvation in Yemen, with some 7 million of the population lacking basic services and health care.