How Food Insecurity is Forcing Millions to Migrate
Growing food insecurity is forcing more people around the world to leave their homes and migrate, according to the latest data released Friday by the United…
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Growing food insecurity is forcing more people around the world to leave their homes and migrate, according to the latest data released Friday by the United Nations World Food Program (WFP).
The new report described the impact food insecurity has on a population; whenever food insecurity rises one percent, the number of people forced to migrate also increases by 1.9 percent.
"Further, 0.4 percent more people flee a country for each additional year of conflict, which means a country with rising levels of food insecurity and conflict experiences greater outward migration, or movement of people away from their homes," a WFP statement said.
The WFP said that while people attempt to "reduce their food insecurity through migration", migration can also result in food insecurity given the "often hazardous" journeys undertaken by migrants.
"By understanding the dynamics that compel people to move, we can better address what lies at the heart of forced migration and what must be done to end their suffering," said David Beasley, WFP Executive Director.
According to the report, the international community must invest in food security "at or near people's place of origin."
"Doing so may prevent further displacement, reduce forced onward migration, result in more cost-effective humanitarian interventions and yield greater socioeconomic benefits now and in the long term," the statement said.
The WFP report acknowledged that displaced people often did not want to move away from home and aimed to stay close to their places of origin.
According to the report, nearly eight out of ten Syrian refugee families "had been internally displaced inside Syria at least once."
Humanitarian relief NGO agencies complain they lack the necessary funds to attend to the 30 million people worldwide currently suffering from or threatened by food insecurity in Yemen, South Sudan, North-West Nigeria and Somalia, as well as other countries in conflict areas.
WFP said that in 2016 it supported 6.9 million refugees in 32 countries.