12 April 2024

Promoting peace through climate-resilient food security initiatives

The humanitarian–development–peace (HDP) nexus emphasizes the need to address crises through integrated approaches, aligning humanitarian, development and peacebuilding efforts. Integrated approaches are crucial for addressing complex, interlinked policy challenges such as food insecurity, climate- and environment-related pressures, and violent conflict. While donor governments recognize that multisectoral and complementary approaches are more promising than siloed responses, the operationalization of the HDP nexus has been slow as countries grapple with numerous implementation barriers.

Focusing on food systems is of particular importance in this context. Due to their potential capacity to sustain livelihoods and social cohesion, food systems impact the effectiveness of food security and other aid efforts in fragile contexts. How ever, this capacity can be undermined by conflict and climate change.

This SIPRI Research Policy Paper seeks to deepen donors’ and aid agencies’ understanding of: (a) the linkages between food (in)security, climate change and violent conflict or peace respectively; (b) ways to address vicious, and amplify virtuous, mutually reinforcing circles between these three phenomena; and (c) the role of partnerships in connecting humanitarian, development and peacebuilding dimensions.

These are some of the recommendations for how to generate multisectoral, complementary programming and enhance peace dimensions within integrated climate-resilient food security interventions, to support transitions out of fragility:

  • Integrated food security approaches should not only include multiple sectors and types of activities from the food security, climate adaptation and peacebuilding fields, but also exploit opportunities to strengthen the sustainability of broader food systems.
  • To incentivize approaches that integrate food, climate adaptation and peacebuilding dimensions, donors and aid agencies could explore ways to institutionalize collaboration between their different thematic centres and link siloed projects through area-based approaches.
  • To amplify peacebuilding effects, integrated food security, climate adaptation and social cohesion interventions need to work across traditional community, administrative or political boundaries, pursue a long-term vision and identify openings for cooperation that involve government actors wherever possible.
  • To overcome barriers to partnerships, organizations need to build trust through open exchanges about their strengths and weaknesses, and strong coordination and communication mechanisms.

These are extracts from a paper published in February 2024 by SIPRI, authored by Simone Bunse and Caroline Delgado. The full paper can be accessed through the link here.

Photo credit: Lance Cheung/USDA via Wikimedia Commons