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Food Insecurity Accelerates Global Migration | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Women queue for food assistance distributed by the United Nations World Food Program in Mwenezi, about 450 kilometers south of Harare, Zimbabwe, Wednesday, Sept. 9 2015. AFP

Rome- The UN food agency has said that a global crisis in food supplies is causing even more migrants to cross borders.

“Each one percentage increase in food insecurity in a population compels 1.9 percent more people to migrate,” a new report by the World Food Program (WFP) said Friday.

The total number of migrants worldwide reached 244 million in 2015, and among them a record 63 million were forced to leave their homes, including refugees, displaced people within their countries and asylum seekers, the Rome-based UN agency said.

WFP found that food insecurity is a significant cause for the incidence – and intensity – of armed conflict. “Once a migrant’s journey has begun, lack of employment combined with little or no access to food and other humanitarian assistance are significant push factors that compel people to continue to move.”

The WFP study also found that armed conflict was what triggered migrants to cross borders, and to a lesser extent natural catastrophes and economic factors.

According to Agence France Presse, the report said that displaced people don’t want to move away and try to stay close to their place of origin.

It recommended that the international community invest in food supplies and livelihoods as close as possible to the displaced peoples homes to reduce further displacement and further migration.