The independent resource on global security

Food, peace and security

Food, peace and security
Photo: WFP/Saikat Mojumder

After steadily declining for over a decade, global hunger and food insecurity are rising again. According to the report The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2022, hunger affected over 800 million people in 2021—an increase of 150 million people since 2019. Current projections indicate that the situation will worsen in the coming years.

Global food insecurity is primarily driven by violent conflict, climate change, the ripple effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the rising cost of living. The combination of these four mutually reinforcing drivers creates a perfect storm, eroding the ability of everybody—governments, regional and subregional organizations, provinces, municipalities, communities and families alike—to respond. 

Food insecurity and its consequences are most prominent in conflict- and disaster-affected countries. Therefore, food security is a critical issue for peace and security. The food crisis requires a response that is simultaneously humanitarian, pro-development and peace oriented.

The SIPRI Food, Peace and Security Programme conducts research on the intersection between food security, conflict and peace. Researchers explore this intersection from a variety of perspectives—including gender and climate change—and examine the role of humanitarian, development and peacebuilding actors and donors in breaking the detrimental relationship between food security and violent conflict. Recent research has looked at specific aid modalities, such as cash-based transfers and conditional and general food distribution, and at how the impact of aid interventions on generating peace can be measured.

SIPRI’s main research collaborations in this area include a knowledge partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP), which, through multi-year and multi-country research, explores how WFP—as one of the world’s largest humanitarian agencies—can contribute to peace. The knowledge partnership provides advice on how to increase WFP’s contribution to peace. 

Research staff

Dr Caroline Delgado is a Senior Researcher and Director of the Food, Peace and Security Programme at SIPRI.
Dr Simone Bunse is a Senior Researcher in the SIPRI Food, Peace and Security Programme.
Marie Riquier is a Research Assistant in the Food, Peace and Security Programme at SIPRI.