How is food insecurity intertwined with malnutrition?

The burden of malnutrition across WoS and NWS remains unacceptably high. In Northwest Syria, 3.6 million people out of 5.1 million face food insecurity. According to the United Nations OCHA, in 2024, with available funding so far, partners could only target 625,000 severely food-insecure people, out of the 3.6 million food-insecure people, to prevent them from falling into starvation.

Impact of Ongoing Conflict on Food Security

The ongoing conflict in Syria, lasting over a decade, is one of the main reasons for food insecurity and undernutrition. The conflict directly affected the environment, agricultural production, healthcare system, access to clean water sources, and other types of infrastructure. These developments have prevented people from claiming their fundamental rights, which should be protected by International Humanitarian Law (IHL).

Food insecurity and malnutrition are inevitably intertwined. Additionally, they can lead to severe diseases, wasting, stunting, and hunger. Women, compared to men, are more vulnerable to food insecurity.

Vulnerability of Women to Food Insecurity

Vulnerable women, particularly in female-headed households, face limited access to nutrition information and resources, making them more susceptible to food shortages, food insecurity, and malnutrition. Malnutrition in mothers can initiate a deprivation cycle, impacting child mortality, disease, educational performance, and work productivity. Educational attainment in women significantly influences child survival rates. (FAO, 2023)

Hence, food insecurity is a major contributor to hunger and malnutrition, and its impacts on human health and productivity cannot be ignored.

Vulnerability of Women to Food Insecurity

In response, IDA has set up nutrition facilities to address malnutrition among pregnant and lactating women (PLW) and children under five.

These centers, led by specialized nutritionists and community health workers, actively promote health and nutrition awareness.

Collaborative Efforts to Enhance Food Security

Nutrition Cluster partners work closely with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) to enhance access to quality food. In the long term, agricultural activities and food production must be fostered to avoid poverty, starvation, and food insecurity. Climate action should be considered carefully since it directly affects agriculture and the environment. Sustainable and concrete solutions must be implemented to ensure people have their fundamental rights and secure future generations.

The Role of the Independent Doctors Association

As the Independent Doctors Association, we run 50 health facilities with honour, providing healthcare, quality food, vaccination campaigns, and nutritional and protective services. We manage numerous projects regarding nutrition integrated with health and protection with our partners and implementation actors.

The Role of the Independent Doctors Association

In 2023, IDA provided 806032 nutrition services, directly benefiting 378,209 individuals.

IDA works to integrate health and nutrition services in 50 health facilities to comprehensively enhance well-being.

A Call to Action on World Food Safety Day

Today is our call to action for addressing the funding gap. As we observe World Food Safety Day, we must state that if partners and NGOs do not receive sufficient funds, all these operating systems will collapse, leaving millions of people without assistance or food. Starvation is a profound injustice to humanity, especially in this era of developing systems, technology, and globalisation. We should appreciate what we have and must act together for a better and dignified world.

Independent Doctors Association, June 07-2024