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Accelerating food and nutrition security during conflict and protracted displacement


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Daniel Gilligan
IFPRI-FAO conference, "Accelerating the End of Hunger and Malnutrition"
November 28–30, 2018
Bangkok, Thailand

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Accelerating food and nutrition security during conflict and protracted displacement

  1. 1. Accelerating Food and Nutrition Security During Conflict and Protracted Displacement Daniel O. Gilligan, Deputy Director Poverty Health and Nutrition Division, IFPRI November 30, 2018 | Bangkok
  2. 2. Conflict, displacement and effective response  Conflicts and resulting displacement have grown since 2008 o conflict affected 1 bn people in 2015; natural disasters affect 218 mn people annually o 68 mn people forcibly displaced in 2017; 25 mn refugees, displaced 10 years on average  Consensus response o establish internally displaced people’s (IDP) and refugee camps o provide security, deliver basic services o provide social protection: cash or food transfers Problem: as crises become protracted, the model of giving food, shelter and basic healthcare to a sedentary, displaced population is being challenged
  3. 3. What constitutes an effective response?  Prioritize cash transfers when possible o food is needed for isolated camp populations, but cash is more flexible  Rethink placing displaced populations in camps o use camps briefly, when security is needed  Foster linkages to employment and livelihoods o many refugees live near urban employment but aren’t allowed to work (Huang 2018) o Ugandan policy provides land for refugees  Challenge: Will improved development response invite more migration from conflict- or crisis-affected areas?  In this talk o Review evidence on conflict, displacement and humanitarian response o Lessons for humanitarian and development programming
  4. 4. Evidence on conflict and displacement effects on nutrition  Effects of conflict on nutrition are negative, severity varies o In Somalia, exposure to conflict and duration of exposure are associated with increased child wasting and stunting (Kinyoki et al 2017) o In Cote d’Ivoire, conflict reduced child HAZ due to impact on livelihoods (Minoiu 2014) o In Uganda, child soldiering had long-term negative effects (Blattman and Annan 2010) o In Rwanda, conflict and crop failure reduce HAZ of girls, not boys (Akresh et al 2006)  Effects of displacement on nutrition are mixed o Syrian refugees in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, had low global acute malnutrition (5%) o Many studies on displacement focus on impact on host populations rather than refugees
  5. 5. Humanitarian response: Lessons from social protection  Humanitarian assistance improves household food security, consumption and assets (Tappis and Doocy 2018; Tranchant et al 2018)  Effects on nutrition are limited, mixed o School meals reduced girls’ anemia prevalence in N Uganda IDP camps o In Mali, food aid increased child height, only for those not directly exposed to conflict  Lessons from social protection in poor, non-emergency settings o cash transfers plus nutrition behavior change communication can reduce stunting o sanitation and hygiene may be a limiting factor in effects of assistance on nutrition
  6. 6. Conflict and displacement  Northern Uganda population was displaced internally in 2003-2007 due to rebel attacks by LRA  In 2005, Uganda had the 3rd largest population of IDPs globally  1.7 million people displaced Humanitarian response  WFP provided food rations to IDP camp population  ration levels were scaled to meet part of food needs (75% in Pader, 50% in Lira)  most camp residents could not access their land for farming  camps had poor hygiene and sanitation Evidence from IDP camps in N. Uganda, 2005
  7. 7. The IDP camp setting in Northern Uganda
  8. 8. Living in an IDP camp improved schooling
  9. 9. Living in an IDP camp sharply worsened stunting
  10. 10. Lessons for humanitarian assistance  Improve diagnostics and nutrition monitoring in camps  Even short displacements in bad conditions worsen child nutrition, with lasting effects  Explore strategies for faster transitions from camps or integration of camp residents into local economies  Transition from camp to former communities is a period of nutrition vulnerability  Test improved solutions o mental health services o use mobile phone platforms to provide cash transfers, savings