Conflict, often violent and recurrent, is a dominant characteristic of the complex environments in which Mercy Corps operates. Most of today’s armed conflicts are concentrated in regions where populations are heavily dependent on agriculture.1 These conflicts disturb the traditional agricultural systems, leading to collapse of production levels, distortion of agriculture markets, and ultimately food insecurity and hunger.
The destruction of agriculture systems is mostly the result of conflicts, but climate change, environmental degradation and inequitable access to natural resources have in turn sparked or aggravated conflicts. Thus, we need to act on three fronts: We need to prevent the complete destabilization of agriculture systems during conflict, we need to help rebuild these agriculture systems early so that livelihoods can resume, and we need to prevent these agriculture systems from fueling further conflict.
1. FAO, IFAD and WFP, “Reducing Poverty and Hunger.”↩