- World Food Programme (WFP)
It has long been said that hungry people are angry people. And yet, growing numbers of hungry people are now living in towns and cities, virtually side by side with the wealthiest populations. Such socio-spatial dynamics tend to accentuate perceptions of social injustice and, in times of crisis, can boil over into violent protests. This was witnessed during the global food price shocks of 2007-08, which affected millions of poor urbanites worldwide and triggered riots in more than 40 countries.
Ensuring that urban populations enjoy uninterrupted access to food can, therefore, deliver significant peace dividends not only to cities but also entire nations. It will enable cities and countries to make progress on their commitments under the New Urban Agenda as well as SDGs 2 (Zero Hunger), 11 (Making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’) and 16 (‘Peace, justice and strong institutions’).
One way to increase and stabilize access to food in towns and cities is to ensure that the poorest populations are covered by “Shock-Responsive Urban Safety Nets”. Such instruments help to strengthen the overall social protection floor during ‘normal’ times, and are also able to quickly expand and contract in response to specific crises. They may come in a variety of different forms, depending on the opportunities and constraints at the national and city level.
At this networking event, the World Food Programme (WFP) and UN-HABITAT will share some of their experiences of working, directly and indirectly, with “Shock-Responsive Urban Safety Nets” in different parts of the world. The event will also enable different stakeholders from the food security, urban and peacebuilding communities to share their perspectives on this matter.