External Event
Virtual seminar

Famines and Fragility: Making humanitarian, developmental, and peacebuilding responses work

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Co-organized by IFPRI, CGIAR, and Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

Globally, the number of people facing crisis-level or worse acute food insecurity has more than doubled since 2017. The 2024 Global Report on Food Crisis (GRFC), which informs the Global Network Against Food Crisis on where humanitarian and developmental assistance is most needed, reported 282 million people in 59 food crisis countries faced crisis-levels of acute food insecurity and more than 700,000 people suffered famine in 2023. These numbers have increased with the crises in Gaza, Sudan, and Haiti.

Conflict and fragility are major drivers of food crises, often compounded by weather extremes and economic shocks. Sound understanding of these drivers and of the structural factors underlying fragility is needed for timely and appropriate crisis responses and for preventative action. However, no one size fits all. Food crises conditions and drivers vary greatly across countries, and crises responders continue to face challenges to effective action along the humanitarian-development-peacebuilding (HDP) nexus.

As the sixth policy seminar in the CGIAR series on Strengthening Food Systems Resilience, this seminar will take stock of what we know of key drivers about protracted food crises and persistent fragility and about the obstacles to successful HDP action. Speakers will discuss: recent trends in acute food insecurity and their causes; the severity and dynamics of acute malnutrition in rapidly developing food crises, with a focus on new methods of collecting evidence; building resilience to economic shocks in fragile, conflict-affected food crisis countries; and ways to adapt humanitarian assistance, social protection, and livelihood rebuilding programs for fragile contexts with vast numbers of displaced people.

Opening Remarks

  • Johan Swinnen, Director General, IFPRI and Managing Director, Systems Transformation Science Group, CGIAR
  • Hendrik Denker, Deputy Head of Division 123, Food and Nutrition Security, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

Panel I - Protracted Food Crises: How to break the vicious circle of conflict, climate shocks and economic crises?

Global Food Crises and Fragility: Trends and drivers

  • Sara McHattie, Global Coordinator, Food Security Information Network (FSIN)

Anticipating and Dealing with Food Crisis Risks: The role of preventative lending windows

  • Sarah Simons, Program Manager, Partnerships & Quality Team, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, The World Bank

Addressing Food Crises Through the Humanitarian-Development-Peacebuilding (HDP) Nexus: Challenges and opportunities

  • Mia Beers, Deputy Assistant Administrator in the Bureau for Resilience, Environment and Food Security, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Panel II – Lessons for Research and Policy from Four Hotspots of Hunger, Famine, and Fragility 

Famine in Gaza: Questions for food crisis risk monitoring and preventive action in fragile and conflict-ridden contexts

  • Rob Vos, Director Markets, Trade, and Institutions, IFPRI

Methodological Innovations for Understanding Myanmar’s Current Food Crisis and Post-Conflict Reconstruction

Designing Adaptive Social Protection Programs for Humanitarian and Development Responses in Yemen

  • Sikandra Kurdi, Research Fellow and Country Program leader Egypt, IFPRI

Sudan’s Imminent Famine: What do we know and what can be done to prevent a major humanitarian disaster?

  • Khalid Siddig, Senior Research Fellow, and Sudan Country Strategy Support Program Leader, IFPRI