Refugees being supported by an Action Against Hunger staff member in Ethiopia.

Conflict

The biggest driver of child hunger around the world today is armed violence.

Most people facing hunger and malnutrition in the world today can be found in countries affected by conflict. In these places, child malnutrition is particularly severe – 75% of children whose growth has been stunted by malnutrition live in regions plagued by violence.

Violent conflict around the world has been on the rise since 2010, driven in large part by a rise in violence between non-state armed groups. Civil wars and internal conflict are also on the increase, and there is now more conflict within nations than between nations.

To add to this complex situation, many conflicts today are long and drawn out with no easy resolution in sight. This has led to widespread displacement of people and regular migration flows across borders, including from northern Nigeria to neighbouring countries in West Africa, and between countries in East Africa.

Violence, persecution and conflict are forcing people to flee their homes in record numbers – there are now nearly 80 million displaced people in the world – a number that has doubled since 2010. This means that one in every hundred people in the world are refugees, asylum seekers or internally displaced within their home countries. They often have no choice but to live long term in displacement and refugee camps.

Facts and figures

  • 24M

    Almost 25 million people in Yemen are in need of humanitarian assistance because of conflict.

  • 85%

    85% of the world's poorest people will live in fragile and conflict-affected countries by 2030.

  • 645,500

    As a result of violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar, some 650,000 Rohingya refugees have fled into neighbouring Bangladesh.

How does Action Against Hunger help people affected by hunger?

Peace is the ultimate solution but we believe that first and foremost it’s vital to protect the lives, health and wellbeing of families affected by conflicts and crises. That’s why we work in the most challenging and complex conflict zones around the world, including Yemen, Syria, Nigeria and Mali.

We help refugees and displaced people survive and rebuild their lives. We build essential infrastructure like water and sanitation services in refugee camps. We support adults to grow their own food, and we provide children with life-saving treatment for malnutrition.

YemenA girl supported by Action Against Hunger in Yemen.

Yemen

In Yemen, war has been ongoing since 2015, causing the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Nearly 2.2 million children are now severely malnourished. We support the most vulnerable by providing clean water and sanitation services – vital for managing frequent cholera outbreaks. We also treat children for malnutrition and support cash distribution to enable mothers to buy the food they need to feed their children.

Our work in Yemen
NigeriaA girl supported by Action Against Hunger in northern Nigeria.

Nigeria

In northern Nigeria, conflict driven by Boko Haram and other armed groups has forced thousands of people to flee their homes. Often families have endured months or years of hardship by the time they access humanitarian aid, leaving children severely malnourished. We’ve established and supported clinics across the region where staff are able to provide life-saving treatment.

Our work in Nigeria

Rohingya crisis

Since August 2017, worsening violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar, has forced more than 650,000 Rohingya refugees to flee to Bangladesh.

Our teams work in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, the world’s largest refugee settlement, providing safe drinking water to both refugees and host communities. We also support women and girls with gender-based violence protection services.

17 year old Mohammed Riaz , among young men and adolescents at a men's stress management session in the Balukali camp

In Rakhine State, Myanmar, we provide treatment for children and breastfeeding mothers suffering from life-threatening hunger as well as mental health and psychological support for those experiencing trauma as a result of the conflict.

Meet refugees living in Cox’s Bazar

Meet Fareejah

Fareejah is a Syrian refugee living in Azraq Camp, Jordan. After receiving support from an Action Against Hunger project in partnership with Unicef, she now works as a plumber to provide clean water and install safe toilet blocks in the camp.

Fareejah believes all women living in Azraq should go out into the world and find jobs, but cultural and gender norms often prevent women from gaining the same skills as men.

Fareejah, a refugee supported by Action Against Hunger to become a plumber.

“Anywhere we go people would be surprised, or they would laugh and ask ‘oh, you are a woman and you are a plumber?’,” she explains. This has only motivated her to challenge these stereotypical views.

She feels the skills she’s learned will not only benefit her, but in the future – wherever her life takes her.

“We will have gained knowledge and experience. When we return, we can create new lives for ourselves,” she says.

We campaign against conflictChildren in Peru campaigning for change.

We campaign against conflict

It’s illegal to prevent people from accessing life-saving humanitarian aid. It’s also a breach of international law to use hunger as a weapon by denying innocent people the essential means of survival. Yet in many parts of the world, this is happening. That's why Action Against Hunger works globally to pressure governments, including the UK, to respond when states cause avoidable human suffering and hunger.

Campaign with us

Why hunger?

Coronavirus

Action Against Hunger staff at De Martini hospital, the only quarantine centre in Mogadishu, Somalia.

The impact of the global pandemic means 132 million more people around the world could face hunger.

Climate crisis

Mamadou prays as the first rains of the year arrive in Mauritania.

Rising temperatures and extreme weather are having a huge impact on already vulnerable communities.

Gender inequality

A group of women supported by Action Against Hunger in Ethiopia.

Hunger affects everyone differently. But around the world, women and girls are most at risk of becoming malnourished.