The World Food Programme (WFP) has indicated that food insecurity and hunger are major factors driving people away from their homes.
In a new report titled “At the root of exodus: Food security, conflict and International migration”, the WFP found that every percentage point increase in food insecurity led to almost a two percent increase in migration.
The report which highlighted the link between migration and hunger also concluded that apart from hunger driving people to leave,the act of migration itself can cause food insecurity considering the lack of stability faced by those on the move.
“Because of the crisis, the conflict, people have to move, they have to find food and when they can’t find food they’re going to go wherever they can get it and that’s why you have migration, that’s why you have people moving in the millions,” explained David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programmed.
A troubling finding of the report was that food insecurity often fueled armed conflict with 0.4 percent more people fleeing a country for each additional year of fighting.
“From Syria alone you’ve got over 5 million that are refugees that have left the country, you have another 6 million give or take, that are internally displaced, they’ve moved from their primary home and they don’t want to do that but they’ve got to go where there’s safety and where there’s food,” Beasley said.
According to the WFP, the number of international migrants, including refugees, reached a record 244 million and 21.3 million respectively in 2015, an increase of 41 percent and 37 percent since the year 2000.
The UN estimates some 2.9 million people in Somalia are facing famine along with 17 million in northeast Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen.