Food Security in the Context of Crisis and Conflict: Beyond continuum thinking
Conflict can be both a cause and an effect of hunger; food security and emergencies are closely intertwined. Tackling food insecurity is at the core of aid interventions in complex political emergencies, but food security involves more than just distributing food to people in distress. The authors argue for a development-oriented, participatory approach to address the multiple dimensions of food insecurity in complex conditions. Most still regard conflicts as some kind of aberration in the ‘normal’ path of development. The fact that conflicts tend to be strongly linked to society during more peaceful times is often overlooked. In such circumstances, aid measures must avoid eroding the foundations of subsequent development activities. A handout mentality does not help. Whilst delivering essential services is an obvious necessity, it is essential to link physical reconstruction with capacity building to ensure that services can be managed under constraining conditions. This paper details lessons learned from an Integrated Food Security Programme in one of Sri Lanka’s war zones.