Recipe for Response: What We Know About the Next Global Food Crisis, and How to Fight it
Publication Date: 19/04/2022
The genesis of the present hunger crisis goes back farther than February 2022 and is due to a combination of global and localized factors. Globally, climate change has compromised agricultural livelihoods and led to displacement, especially in regions like the Horn of Africa and Central America’s Dry Corridor, where famers struggle to produce yields that meet the needs of local markets. The global economic fallouts associated with COVID-19, and inadequate social safety nets, have led to record unemployment and growing poverty—especially for women and women-led households (UN Women 2021)—so that even where food is available, high prices put basic items out of reach for many. Armed conflict is also driving food insecurity, for example by making it difficult for farmers to cultivate their lands, or damaging or disrupting vital agricultural infrastructure—such as transportation, storage and distribution sites—and reducing access to markets and assistance.
Women and girls are disproportionately impacted by food insecurity and related shocks. Gender norms and roles mean that women are often responsible for their households’ food security, including shopping for and preparing food, yet they might also be the ones to eat “last and least” in their household. Women are also more likely to be excluded from decision-making when it comes
to addressing hunger in their communities (CARE 2020). These types of gendered imbalances hurt entire communities: in a 2021 assessment in Sudan, CARE found that 82% of people living in female-headed households reported recently skipping a meal, compared with 56% of people living in male-headed households.