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How is Food Used as a Weapon?

Dec 9, 2016 by     No Comments    Posted under: Volume VI, Issue 2

Ilhan Ali, Webster University – Saint Louis

How is Food Used as a Weapon? Case Studies from Somalia and Syria

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This research project explores how food can be used as form of a weapon, despite international guarantees of the “right to food”.  By looking at the rise of famine, this paper seeks to clarify the causes of hunger – including its links to drought, global capitalism, and conflict. This paper also explores the rise of non-state actors and considers their roles related to food security in war-stricken regions. Their impacts, combined with government mismanagement of resources, has given rise to reoccurring famines. The main focus of this paper will be historical and current case studies in Somalia and Syria, where food has been manipulated to control and oppress local populations.


About 90 percent of the 10 million annual hunger-related deaths occur among people who are chronically hungry, or are among “those who do not consume enough food for a sustained period of time and are most likely to be malnourished as a result” (Salaam-Blyther & Hanrahan, 2009, p.3). To address this problem, we must understand that hunger is a major issue facing nations around the world – including in the global South – and yet world leaders seem to ignore this chronic human rights concern. When we think of food, most people rarely think about how food is a protected human right or how hunger correlates with armed conflict. Food rebellions, for instance, have happened when the masses revolt over rising food prices or lack of food supplies – problems that the rest of the world often overlooks. Although the modernization of agriculture, termed the “Green Revolution,” has been credited for saving the world from hunger, it has also led to a monopolization of seeds and chemicals by companies in the global North – as well as a loss of biodiversity, a global shift to an oil-based agricultural economy, and displacement of peasants into urban slums (Holt-Gimenez & Patel, 2009).

Somalia and Syria offer important case studies for understanding the “right to food” and how the basic right to food can – and has been – used as a weapon against citizens. These two nation-states, like many countries in the global South, suffered under the oil price spikes of the 1970s and the over-production of food in the global North, which flooded the marketplace and made it harder for farmers from developing nations to compete. In turn, this forced them to take out loans from international banks. Structural adjustment plans created in the 1980s by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank led to restrictions on both Syria and Somalia related to paying off loans while also competing in the global market. With the creation of such rigid and biased systems, the international economic community forced developing nations to import goods from the global North, thus diluting internal market capacity and dumping goods that would make it difficult for local farmers to compete in the face of price variations and the rapid productivity of more developed nations. Both Somalia and Syria failed at keeping their promises to pay back loans, lacking the ability to provide subsidized support to help their local farmers to compete and create foreign food dependency. Years of mismanagement, drought, shortage of rainfall, and continuing conflict contributed to the collapse of the Somali government and also the current civil war in Syria. The creation of famine in these two countries was the outcome years of neglect, as well as a circumstance of undermining those who sought to shed light on food problems.

In order to consider Somalia and Syria in the context of food rights, this research paper will proceed as follows: It will provide information about the basic right to food, including what that framework entails and how it is applicable to our modern food crisis. With the rise transnational rebel groups, the paper also explores non-state roles in food security – particularly in famine-stricken regions in both Somalia and Syria. This examination of the causes of famine highlights how food has become a weapon for the enslavement of the poor in war-torn regions.


Hunger and Human Rights

The World Food Program (n.d.) states that 792 million people don’t have enough to eat and divides hunger into three categories: under-nourishment, malnutrition, and wasting. Under-nourishment is described as those whose food intake doesn’t meet the minimum need for active life. Malnutrition means lack of efficient nutrition that the body needs, ranging from an obese to a dangerously thin person with deficient vitamin and minerals; a malnourished person can suffer a variety of health problems. Wasting means being badly-nourished to point of starvation, which is when people die from common infections, measles, or diarrhea. Unlike drought and famine, hunger is a universal social problem that affects people in cities, low-income rural areas, and farming villages (World Food Program, n.d.).

Drought and famine are related concepts, but with vastly different meanings (see Arya, 2011). Drought can be defined as an extended period (a season, a year, or several years) of deficient rainfall relative to the statistical multi­year average for a region (Graham, 2000). There are three types of ways in which drought can be defined: meteorological, hydrological, and/or agricultural. Meteorological drought is the reduction of rainfall in a specified period of time, whereas hydrological drought refers to deficiencies in surface and subsurface water supplies, such as stream flow, lake, reservoir, and groundwater levels (UN­SPIDER, n.d.). Agricultural drought is the outcome of both meteorological and hydrological droughts, which eventually leads to a decline in crop yield and halts agricultural productivity (Graham, 2000). Unlike drought, famine results from government shortcomings – including slow or ineffective reactions to information. Famine does not happen overnight, but rather it is a long and slow process that eventually reaches extreme levels. Oxfam International (2011) notes that “crop failure and poverty leave people vulnerable to starvation – but famine only occurs with political failure.” Although there are several ways to define famine, many organizations agree on one measurement: at least twenty percent of households in the region afflicted must face extreme shortage in food and lack the ability to cope. Another aspect is that it can’t include just acute hunger, but it should surpass malnourishment. As a result, the death toll should exceed beyond two deaths per 10,000 people per day for famine to be declared by World Food Program (Oxfam International, 2011).

To make this issue even more complicated, we must also consider how food has been weaponized by governments in recent history. For instance, consider Nazi military strategies during World War II. In the late 1930s through 1941, the Nazi government of Germany used food as a tool of control and genocide. The so-called “Hunger Plan” targeted rich farmlands – primarily in the “bloodlands” between Germany and Stalin’s Russia – in order to wipe out populations through starvation and/or forced migration of agrarian communities. The Hunger Plan was an engineered famine; a modern instance of food management being used as a form of weapon. In ancient times, sieges that cut off food supplies were used to win wars and conquer territories; in the case of Nazi Germany, the aim was to eliminate unwanted populations and force migration – herding unwanted groups to other nations, where they could be food burdens elsewhere. The Plan was not only about conquering rich agricultural land that could be used to feed German people, but it was also part of a broader campaign for racial purification; famine was a weapon for population control and the eradication of illegitimate races (Snyder, 2010).

With the end of World War II and the creation of the United Nations, the right to food became part of modern human rights frameworks. Article 25 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well­being of himself and of his family, including food, food clothing housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstance beyond his control” (United Nations, 1948). It was the first time that food was recognized as right, giving rise to second generation rights that came out of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which recognized the fundamental right of freedom from hunger (Golay & Özden, 2006). This does not mean that people have the right to free food, but rather access to means for attaining an adequate livelihood – which includes food. This principle has been reinforced by other international law, such as the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention encourages state parties to create measures for combatting malnutrition through provisions of adequate and nutritious food, while also recognizing the right of every child to have a standard of living that is adequate for their development (United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, 1989). This is particularly important in the context of food rights, since those who suffer the highest mortality from famine tend to be children.

The right to food is often difficult to contextualize in terms of state duty-bearers, since a variety of social factors lead to food shortages. For instance, drought can cause shortfalls in crop yield – and that can have horrific consequences if countries have not stocked grain supplies to withstand deficits in agrarian productivity due to environmental changes. Lack of efficient and effective responses can have serious human rights consequences – but societies do have the knowledge to prevent these problems, with proper planning, education, and resources. C. Golay and M. Özden (2006) assert that the right to food has two essential factors: the availability of food and access to it. Yet what’s left out of this straightforward statement are the principles of sustainability in food aid, as well as nondiscrimination in terms of gender or socio­economics. These social factors are intertwined with the problem of famine; famine does not come out of nowhere, but rather rises in the presence of various social factors that can make human hunger a type of weapon. Luckily various organizations have be created since the 1980s to provide early detection of future drought, as well as to monitor and classify famines and drought. These actions not only help identify problems, but also help create solutions for allocating aid in affected regions. The global food regime includes the UN World Food Program, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as Oxfam International, and international laws and their state parties.

In discussions of food rights, however, the international community rarely considers how hunger can be the result of intentional action – and how food can be weaponized. Unfortunately this reality has come to pass in conflict regions, including the countries of Somalia and Syria. Famine caused by food mismanagement has occurred in regions controlled by rebels in both Somalia and Syria, providing grim evidence of how food be weaponized against the poor. Although Somalia has experienced more famine than Syria, both countries are prone to drought. Recent discussion of Syria’s civil war has raised the point that drought and the mismanagement of natural resources by the Assad regime helped fuel the uprising in Syria. Four consecutive droughts have affected Syria in recent years, with the drought in 2007­2008 being particularly devastating (De Schutter, 2010). The influx of Iraqi refugees and the displacement of rural farmers, plus the seizures of land by of rebel groups, created a horrific human rights situation that included dire food insecurity. After the collapse of the Somali government in the early 1990s, rebels quickly took control and stunted the agricultural productive of war-torn area. Various institutions and governments have tried to bring aid to the Somali people, both internally and externally. Currently the organization Al­Shabab, which is known to have allegiance to Al­Qaeda, controls areas most affected by drought and has threatened aid workers, attempting to push them out of places where people are in dire need of assistance. These case studies help us to understand how food is being used as a form of weapon and as a means of control.



Somalia became an independent state in the 1960s, but the assassination of its first president led to Muhammad Siad Barre seizing control through a military coup. Under his reign, various industries became nationalized, including agrarian and pastoralist sectors. Before the collapse, Somalia was self-sufficient because nomadic pastoralists made up to 50 percent of the population and had contributed nearly 80 percent of national export earnings (Chossudovsky, 2011). Somalia was prone to drought but it wasn’t until 1974-75 that drought devastated Somalia’s economy. With the aid of the Soviet Union, nearly 90,000 Somali nomads were relocated and reconstructed their livelihoods by transitioning from a pastoralist culture to agriculturalist one (Metz, 1992). Due to quick governance, the crisis was stopped from reaching a dire state. Yet by the late 1970s, Somalia had entered an armed conflict with Ethiopia over the Ogden region and the cost of war created a devastating debt, forcing the once self-sufficient nation to take structural adjustment loans. Keeping up with market demand forced Somalia to take steps towards economic reform. The structural adjustment program (SAP) imposed by the World Bank and the IMF in the 1980s and the 1990s broke down tariffs, dismantled national marketing boards, and eliminated price guarantees. The intervention of the IMF in the 1980s not only devalued the currency, but reinforced dependency on foreign grain imports while undermining the agrarian and pastoralist people. The flooding of foreign goods in local markets led to widespread impoverishment in an economy dependent on the cultural traditions of bartering. The country went through massive budget cuts in the public and social sectors in hopes of reducing the national debt and achieving stability, but the continuation of drought, the marginalization of local producers, unemployment, hyperinflation, the rising of food prices, the flooding of food aid, and the macro-economic policies enforced by IMF caused a perfect storm that eventually led to the collapse of the state in the early 1990s (Holt-Gimenez & Patel, 2009).

During Siad Barre’s reign, he sought to create a Marxist state and to stop clan identification by abolishing the traditional socio-political structure, replacing it with nationalism. Various attempts were made to reconstruct nomadic Somalis’ lifestyles in hopes of reducing tribalism, along with criminalizing any form of clan identity. Yet “despite fifty years of state-building, urbanization, civil war, state collapse, and emigration, the bonds of kinship remain the most durable feature of Somali social, political, and economic life” (Pham, 2011, p. 158). Clan identity is deeply-rooted in Somali culture, to the point that it is inevitable that someone asks you what your clan affiliation is before salutations are exchanged. Somalia was different than most post-colonial nations of Africa because of shared ethnic homogeneity, religion, language, culture and pastoral traditions – but also a lack political unity (Pham, 2011). Since the government collapse, Somalis have returned to clan-based structures because they are a source of political power and authority, allowing elders to claim local influence on how things are handled and how resources are distributed. The re-emergence of clan-based kinship worsens the severity of conflicts over resources, land, and water, resulting in larger clans taking advantage of ethnic minorities such as Somali-Bantus, who are limited from accessing resources and foreign aid. The continuous fighting subsequently led to the cut-off of food supplies, bringing about a humanitarian crisis and eventually causing an international military intervention. The international community attempting to subdue the conflict failed, eventually leading to the departure the international community and causing Somalia to go back to its traditional clan division in response – with the aim of finding protection from the lawlessness following the collapse of the state (Berrebi, 2013).

There have been various attempts at unification, but continuous clashes over territories and the absence of political structures gave rise to Islamic organizations seeking to fill the void that clans left open. The emergence of the Islamic Court Union coincided with the collapse of the Somali government, which brought about an alternative for the chaos by creating courts and policing, thereby bridging the severe governance shortfall left by Siad Barre (Salih, 2011/12). The growth of pan Islamic extremist groups since the terrorist attack of 9/11 in the Middle East and Africa gave rise to Islamic Court Union. Its successor, the Transitional Federal Government, was backed by the United States but it lacked legitimacy and lost control over Somalia and eventually gave rise to Al-Shabaab dominancy (Pham, 2011). In 2010-11, East Africa experienced the worst drought in nearly 60 years with the combination of clumsy mismanagement of food relief and the arbitrary restriction on aid workers by Al-Shabaab, creating the conditions for the reoccurrence on famine in Somalia. Climate Change and meteorological conditions, such as the lack of rain, helped to spur this “humanitarian catastrophe,” but “the crisis also has its root in Somalia’s ongoing political situation and persistent conflict” (Pham, 2011, p. 154).

The rise of Al-Shabaab has threatened food rights in Somalia, privileging profit and war over the needs of the Somali people. Al-Shabaab imposed strict conditions on relief workers by extorting them through methods of security fees and taxation, forcing the World Food Program and various NGOs out of rebel-controlled regions (Pham, 2011). Oxfam International (2011) noted that at the height of conflict in 2008, 37 aid workers were killed in Somalia – two-thirds of all aid workers killed worldwide (p. 14). Al-Shabaab has been known not only for pilfering aid, but also for allocating stolen aid into the market place to be sold for the benefit of the militant group instead of for those in need. Al-Shabaab is notorious for denying or underplaying the severity of famine in order to keep people from fleeing afflicted regions, and it has taken action to stop people from leaving regions under its control. The group has also taxed local farmers who live in cultivatable regions, along with confiscated goods from those who stored food for time of hardship like drought – sometimes forcing farmers to grow cash crops in order to support militant efforts. Al-Shabaab has also contributed to the creation of environmental degradation by cutting down trees in order to sell charcoal on the black market, causing desertification in southern Somalia and placing long-term negative effects on the pastoralist community who depends on the trees for the grazing of their herds. It is estimated that somewhere around two-thirds of the forest that used to cover 15 percent of Somali territory has been reduced to chunks of “black gold,” packed into bags and shipped to countries in the Persian Gulf for profit (Pham, 2011, p. 183).



In Syria, the desire for political control is the root cause of both the civil war and the weaponization of food by Assad’s regime and rebel groups. Whoever controls the resources controls the people – they control how things can be divided and/or allocated to fund their own cause. Syria was plagued by droughts from 2006 until 2010, the result of dramatic climate change and the most devastating food insecurity since the Ottoman Empire. After World War I, the Ottoman Empire collapsed and Syria was put under French Mandate. Displeased with the European occupation, various rebellions ensued in the region, eventually leading to Syria’s independence in 1946. During the early years, the Syrian state went through various constitutions and presidents, and various political parties collapsed due to instability. It wasn’t until a coup led by the Ba’th Arab Socialist Party that a one party system reigned supreme, which followed communist ideals. By the 1970s, Hafez Al Assad was elected president and ruled over the Syrian people until 2001, when he died of a heart attack. His son, Bashar Al Assad, took over as the president and the Syrian people were expecting the change in leadership to create positive reforms. To the people’s dismay, however, Bashar Al Assad only continued the work of his father and ignored the demands of the Syrian people. It wasn’t until a decade into his presidency that Al Assad faced, like many countries in the region, uprisings and demonstrations that demanded reform and governmental change. Al Assad responded to the Syrian Arab Spring uprising with attacks on protesters that quickly escalated into devastation and civil war. Unlike in Somalia, Syria broke into religious and ethnic rebellion groups, such as the Kurds. Sectarian opposition groups played a key role in the conflict, creating forced mass migration, internal displacement, unemployment due to constant fighting, and a hunger crisis throughout the whole country (De Chatel, 2014).

One reason for the Syrian uprising was the mismanagement of natural resources, such as water, under the Hafez Al Assad regime and then during his son’s presidency. The Ba’th Socialist Party and the Assad family controlled Syria for 45 years, partly because they had major support from the working people who were promised agricultural and water development reforms. In the Ba’th party, the majority of members were from rural regions of the country; this helps explain why they wanted an agrarian socialism movement that aimed to modernize the nation by investing in the creation of dams for energy use. When the Ba’th party came into power, there were no dams built in Syria. One year after the death of Hafez Al Assad, there were about 160 dams built throughout the country. The rapid growth of Syria’s infrastructure throughout this modernization era had repercussions. The transformation of rural agrarian societies, which were the source of Syria’s resources, and related policies did have an effect on how water was used; the Ba’th party had no logical understanding of how to develop a nation in a sustainable or economic way, which was vital for preserving limited water resources. The government also implemented policies to expand irrigated areas beyond the basin of the Euphrates River, for reasons of self-sufficiency and the production of major food crops. The Euphrates runs through Turkey and Iraq, making it very vulnerable – which helps explain why such policies were of central importance to the government (Barnes, 2009).

Syria was also impacted during the 1970s by price peaks of oil, which affected how agrarian society used fuel for farming – including the use of tractors and water pumps, which then impacted food production. In the aftermath of a 1973 oil price increase, “there was a widespread concern throughout the Middle East that major western grain producers might use food as a weapon to count domination of the oil producing countries” (Barnes, 2009, p. 523). Wheat-based foods are a major staple in Syria; worried about pervasive grain shortages, the Ba’th Socialist Party aimed to create incentives for rural farms to use more land for farming in hopes of creating good grain yields. Syrian agricultural production consists of grains like wheat, barley, corn, and millet; these relate to food shortages because the expansion of irrigated agriculture is meant to boost higher yield. “Wheat does not have to be grown under water,” explains Barnes (2009), but supplemental irrigation can significantly increase yield (p. 523). Cereal products account for nearly 60 percent of the crops grown in Syria; although there is no need to use a lot of water for growing these crops, the regime’s lack of incentives for farmers allowed farms to continue to misuse and abuse vital resources. The Syrian government aims to meet market demands of grain, creating water scarcity in the process. For example, 70 to 80 percent of water comes from the Euphrates River and 37 percent of ground water is said to be tapped by farmers with no restrictions. Nearly 90 percent of Syria’s general water supply, as well as 60 percent of its ground water, is distributed to the agricultural sector for irrigated land (Barnes, 2009). The government’s continued ignorance regarding water problems and environmental changes has growing negative consequences on its people (see also El-Hindi, 2011).

Environmental changes (such as lack of rainfall and water shortages) have also impacted farming, leading to the unemployment of rural farmers, mass migration from rural areas to cities, and scarcity of jobs and food (Sample, 2015). From 2006 until 2008, Syria faced extreme rainfall shortages, which contributed to drought in grain-growing regions. The United States Department of Agriculture (2008) estimates that Syria faced an abnormal shortage of rainfall during 2008-09 in regions like Aleppo, Ar Raqqah, and El Hassakah – which account for 73 percent of the total national wheat growing areas. “The losses resulting from these repeated droughts have been significant for the population in the north-east of the country,” noted UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Oliver De Shutter (2010); in total, 1.3 million people were affected, with 800,000 being severely affected (p. 2). Food insecurity created a flight to cities in hopes of finding work and/or food; between 2009 and 2010, an estimated 50,000 families migrated to cities in hopes of finding permanent work (De Shutter, 2010).

Since the start of Syria’s civil war, one of the biggest struggles has been to bring food to besieged cities controlled by either the Ba’th party or various opposition groups. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that up to 4.5 million people in Syria are in hard to reach areas, estimating that 400,000 people of the 15 besieged cities are suffering from lack of access and are in need of urgent lifesaving aid (El Hillo & Kennedy, 2016). The United States Agency of International Development (USAID, 2014) estimates that about 9.3 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Syria. The United Nations has “repeatedly documented how the Syrian government blocked the delivery of food aid to civilians” (Martinez & Eng, 2016, p. 159). Facing international outcries over the starvation of the Syrian people, the government has made some attempts to maintain food supplies in areas of their control – but government regulations, uncertainty, and other factors create severe challenges (Martinez & Eng, 2016). Another problem facing international aid agencies is that various rebel groups reject compromises that allow Al Assad to remain in power. Of the estimated 780,000 people who die worldwide from violence each year, an estimated 27 percent die from hunger and disease – most people don’t die from bullets or bombs, but many more are killed by conflict-related hunger and lack of access to aid (Von Grebmer et al., 2015, p. 23).

There’s an African proverb that says when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. This saying can be applied to Syria, where conflict between rebel factions and the government has caused immense human rights violations. Jose Ciro Martinez and Brent Eng (2016) highlight the fact that emergency aid helped the Syrian government by channeling aid through government permitted organizations, allowing it to have the capacity to provide welfare to peoples in controlled areas, thus giving the illusion of relative security.  “Hundreds of thousands of Syria IDPs have fled from contested or rebel held areas to the regime controlled cities of Lataskia and Tartous simply to survive,” they wrote (Martinez & Eng, 2016, p. 168). The use of hunger as political leverage and the control of access routes has been a major ploy of both the government and rebels, forcing people to flee to their controlled areas in hopes of achieving strategic goals – and in violation of food rights. “Emergency food aid has also altered the war economy and political dynamic in favor those in power,” notes Martinez and Eng (2016, p. 170). At various times, rebels have confiscated aid intended for civilians and reallocated it under their own name, hoping to sway public opinion and keep people in controlled regions. With the continued drop of international donors to fund emergency aid programs to assist with the food crisis – along with kidnappings and threats to aid workers, consistent blockaded and besieged areas, and constant fighting – famine is growing throughout Syria. Once again, famine is not natural; it is created by negligence of the rebel groups and the Syrian government by ignoring the food crisis and, indeed, by creating the circumstances that make it possible.


Conclusion and Recommendation

Scholars like Dambisa Mayo (2010) talk about how aid to Africa is not helping to prevent future famine, but rather it is causing new famine by not letting nations become self-sufficient. In Somalia and Syria, people have become highly dependent on international aid to provide food in the midst of scarcity and conflict. Al Shahab, rebel groups in Syria, and the Al Assad regime reallocate international aid for their benefit and tactical control, thus undermining the food crises. People suffer not only from lack of access, but also from scarcity. It is vital that the international community provides humanitarian assistance – as well as safety for aid workers – in these regions. Various organizations (including the World Food Program, Care International, and the International Medical Corps) have been threatened or kicked out of areas where the needs are dire.

In Somalia, Al-Shabaab must pledge to allow safe passage for humanitarian aid in the most afflicted regions. They must stop all disappearances, kidnappings, deaths, and/or any violence towards humanitarians. They must ensure safe voyages in and out of those regions under Al-Shabaab control, as well as stop threats or long negotiations that derail aid workers from their main missions. Al-Shabaab should stop down-playing this crisis by pushing those who fled famine-stricken regions back to afflicted areas; this leads to more deaths of innocent people, cutting them off from their hopes of food access. Al-Shabaab should halt all exports of charcoal out of the country and find new revenue streams that do not have an immediate and long lasting effect on the environment, or violate human rights norms.

In Syria, the government must create and enforce effective laws related to agrarian production that can withstand climate change and address water needs. In the past, irrigation laws were not respected due to the lack of education of farmers; education is key for maintaining and establishing good farming practices. It is also important that foreign powers focus on human rights outcomes, rather than manipulating the Syrian crisis for their own gain. Leaders of countries such as Iran, China, the United States, and Russia should focus on ending the conflict – not creating more chaos in the name of power politics. The continuation of the civil war will have a long lasting effects on neighboring nations, including issues related to food scarcity and resources. Two vital tasks are needed: We need stronger mechanisms to prevent and resolve conflict, and we need large scale emergency relief to halt the first cases of hunger in conflict areas (Von Grebmer et al., 2015, p. 27).

In both Syria and Somalia, international response has been slow and there is a need to create efficient ways to distribute aid, while also taking proper measure to ensure that aid does not get reallocated by rebels or government officials. International aid agencies need to create methods through proper channels to reach those in dire need of emergency aid, as well as enact effective monitoring. Individuals and governmental officials need to be held accountable for the deliberate creation of food crises. Lack of information in afflicted regions, lack of proper policies to combat the eradication of hunger in these regions, and the lack of early response measures are also gaps that need to be addressed. Whoever gains control of both Somalia and Syria shall inherent these food problems, so it is important that all parties conduct themselves in a manner aimed at peace, long-term stability, and the protection of the right to food.



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Righting Wrongs: A Journal of Human Rights is an academic journal that provides space for undergraduate students to explore human rights issues, challenge current actions and frameworks, and engage in problem-solving aimed at tackling some of the world’s most pressing issues. This open-access journal is available online at www.webster.edu/rightingwrongs.

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