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Resilience in Protracted Crises

Protracted crises are contexts in which a significant proportion of the population is acutely vulnerable to hunger, disease and disruptions to livelihoods over prolonged periods. In these situations, undernourishment is severe, long-standing and almost three times more frequent than in other developing contexts. FAO currently identifies19 countries with a protracted crisis situation. Of these, 14 have been in this category since 2010, 11 of which are in Africa.

Strengthen livelihoods in in protracted crisis through policy guidance.

Almost all countries with a protracted crisis have experienced violent conflict over prolonged periods of time; in six such contexts, conflict has been ongoing for at least 18 of the last 20 years.

FAO provides policy guidance, builds partnerships, and supports in-country programmes to strengthen livelihoods and food systems in protracted crisis situations. These help support vulnerable communities and households, improving their food and nutrition status, whilst building resilience to future shocks and stressors.

Key policy messages

·        In 2018, more than 113 million people across 53 countries experienced acute hunger requiring urgent food, nutrition and livelihoods assistance (IPC/CH Phase 3 or above).

·        Conflict and insecurity, climate shocks and economic turbulence – the main drivers of food insecurity – continue to erode livelihoods and destroy lives. Conflict and insecurity remain the key driver: in 2018 two-thirds of those facing acute hunger were in 21 countries and territories affected by conflict or insecurity. 

·        The Global Network Against Food Crises offers a platform for the international community to coordinate concerted and coherent efforts towards preventing food and nutrition crises, mitigating their impacts, and boosting resilient and sustainable post crisis recovery and rehabilitation for transforming agriculture and food-systems.

·        Continue to address not only the immediate symptoms of food crises but also focus on their root causes, considering global regional and national dimensions of risks. Policies in protracted crises should look to the future through linkages across the humanitarian-development-peace (HDP) nexus to increase communities’, households’, food systems’ and ecosystems’ resilience.

·        Policies and actions must be informed with careful understanding of complex dynamics and drivers of vulnerability such as conflict and insecurity, climate change, environmental degradation, and demographic change.

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