Forced migration is a crisis centred in developing countries. At its root are the same ten conflicts which have accounted for the majority of the forcibly displaced every year since 1991, consistently hosted by about 15 countries – also overwhelmingly in the developing world.
Most drivers of violence – and resulting cycles of displacement and protracted crisis situations – are due to structural, developmental, economic and political factors. Real and substantial improvements can only come about by addressing root causes.
Agriculture cannot be an afterthought when addressing the immediate and longer-term needs of the forcibly displaced and of the community hosting them. In the face of enormous challenges, it remains the backbone of rural livelihoods. Maintaining food production and rebuilding the agricultural sector are fundamental conditions, and the agriculture sector is an engine of stabilization and recovery for people living in or fleeing from fragile contexts.
Food security, sustainable agricultural practices, access to and management of natural resources, employment and social protection benefits are all key in sustaining peace efforts, mitigating the adverse impact of climate change and supporting populations affected by forced migration to transition towards durable and sustainable solutions.
Support to affected populations needs to be associated with investments in the community of origin and destination to avoid a relapse into conflict and to work towards durable and sustainable solutions for all.
Building the self-reliance of the forcibly displaced is crucial in enabling them to become agents of their own development and of the communities hosting them, particularly when displacement is protracted.
Strengthening livelihoods and food security in areas bordering countries of origin and in the areas where IDPs are settled is not only cost-efficient, but it also leads to longer-term social and economic benefits once countries stabilize.