Resilient Food Systems: Making Food Systems Work in The World’s Most Fragile Places

A person harvesting crops.
September 14, 2021

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Today, roughly 155 million people are experiencing acute food insecurity across 55 countries, an increase of around 20 million from 2019. This rise is being driven primarily by conflict and fueled by the climate crisis and the economic effects of the COVID‑19 pandemic.

The world has an opportunity to dramatically advance the fight against food insecurity and hunger at the UN Food Systems Summit. On September 23rd, the Summit will bring together governments, donors, businesses, and members of civil society from around the world to transform food systems.

The Summit marks a breakthrough moment in the world’s approach to hunger. It is designed not simply to look at individual interventions to meet needs, but to rethink how key players from across the public and private sectors can strengthen whole food systems so that everyone can access enough affordable, nutritious food.

The challenge, though, is that most hungry people are in fragile and conflict-affected places. In these settings, it is especially difficult to transform food systems and to meet the needs of the most vulnerable and marginalized people.

Mercy Corps’ new policy brief sets out four key ways that governments, donors, private sector partners, and aid organizations can build strong food systems that deliver healthy food for everyone—including those living in the world’s most fragile places. Mercy Corps calls on UN Food Systems Summit stakeholders to:

  • Put conflict prevention and good governance at the heart of food systems transformation.
  • Invest in climate resilience to tackle food insecurity and the climate drivers of conflict.
  • Champion digital innovations that serve food-insecure communities affected by climate change and conflict.
  • Promote inclusive markets for nutritious food access and availability.