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


Armed conflict is the biggest single cause of hunger in the world today. In the worst-case scenarios, it can result in starvation.

Armed conflict, violence and insecurity perpetuate hunger. In fact, they have been the number one driver of acute food insecurity since 2017.

Over 70% of the 193 million people living with acute food insecurity in 2021 were driven there by conflict. No other driver of hunger comes close.

Conflict affects food security and nutrition in many ways: it can reduce the amount of food available, disrupt food production and people’s ability to access food, food markets and health care.

Those who survive conflict will have their lives blighted. Many will have their future health, wealth and wellbeing compromised. As a result, they’re more likely to raise their children in poverty and hunger.

What’s the solution?

Intentionally starving civilians, destroying hospitals, houses and roads and stopping people getting aid are war crimes. And too often, populations and communities are the ones bearing the brunt. In 2018, our advocacy efforts contributed to the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2417, which recognises the link between conflict and hunger and condemns starvation as a weapon of war. We’re now campaigning to ensure it is upheld.

Resolution 2417 aims to hold those using food security as a strategy in conflict accountable for their actions. But it won’t solve hunger on its own. It isn’t enough when people don’t have any means to get food in the first place.

That’s why our teams and partners work in the world’s most dangerous places to reach people in need.

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.

  • 139M

    In 2021, around 139 million people across 24 countries and territories were facing hunger because of conflict.

How we tackle hunger in countries affected by conflict

When disasters strike, we’re there. We’re working to get the right food and support to children, mothers and families. We’re currently responding to multiple emergencies around the world, including conflict contexts.

Working in partnership

Working with others is vital.

When a major crisis hits, we link with other UK charities specialising in humanitarian aid. Through our membership of the Disasters Emergency Committee, we raise funds that are shared out between the 15 members of the network.

We’re also part of the Start Network, a network of more than 40 aid agencies. They help coordinate the efforts of agencies on the ground, sharing information, helping us all to respond early and quickly to emergencies together. The Start Fund also provides rapid financing that allows us to respond to the many humanitarian crises.

A boy fleeing conflict in Ukraine.

How are we supporting people fleeing conflict in Ukraine?

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine is threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions of civilians. So far, our emergency response to the crisis has reached 150,000 people in Ukraine and neighbouring Poland, Romania and Moldova.

How we help

Stories from conflict

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

The Rohingya ‘mega camps’ of Bangladesh

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

Meet refugees living in Cox's Bazar
Children 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 we pressure governments, including the UK, to respond when states cause avoidable human suffering and hunger.

Campaign with us

Featured Publications

Proposition Paper

Conflict and Emergency

Quite simply, conflicts and emergencies cause life-threatening hunger. This proposition paper outlines how Action Against Hunger is working to tackle hunger in countries affected by conflict and emergencies.

Proposition Paper

Mental Health

Hunger, conflict and natural disasters can have a huge impact on someone’s mental health. This proposition paper outlines the devastating effects of this and what Action Against Hunger is doing to combat it.

Why hunger?


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

Gai tries to spear fish after his village in South Sudan is flooded.

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.