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Briefing paper: Global Health and Food Security in Fragile and Conflict Affected States (FCAS)

Boden, Lisa, Abdullateef, Shaher, Aldakhil, Manaf, Alkhaddour, Anas, Alkhalil, Ahmad, Almohammad Alsbahi, Sara, Atik, Omar, Calia, Clara, Iannizotto, Martina, Keulertz, Martin, and others. (2019) Briefing paper: Global Health and Food Security in Fragile and Conflict Affected States (FCAS). University of Edinburgh, 24 pp. (KAR id:92046)

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Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) attainment is severely compromised not only in fragile and conflict-affected countries (FCAS) like Syria, but also in those countries that host their refugee populations. Protracted conflict and forced internal and external displacement of people leads to severe poverty, destruction of health services and food insecurity, due to pressure on land and water resources; fractured supply and value chains for essential crops and products; interrupted distribution routes, and volatile market prices. This inevitably leads in turn to food insecurity; acute malnutrition; increased morbidity and mortality; poor mental health and impaired cognitive development, particularly in children.

Emergency interventions are focused on survival and short- term needs and recovery efforts, (e.g. food, medicines,

seed multiplication, irrigation canals rehab, bakeries) at the expense of longer term strategic approaches that incorporate broader socio-economic or environmental considerations. This may result in unforeseen tensions between short- and long-term food-security demands, which could undermine the future resilience of different agricultural sectors.

Syrian academics in exile offer a wealth of local knowledge, connection and expertise; a major part of Syria’s intellectual and cultural capital that has been largely neglected by the intelligence-gathering and analysis activities informing humanitarian responses to the crisis. In June 2019, the University of Edinburgh (UoE) and Cara Syria Programme (Cara Syria) led a round-table meeting to provide a platform for Syrian academics. This enabled them both to share their local knowledge, culture and expertise in food and health security with relevant decision-makers, practitioners and responders to the crisis, and to facilitate their contribution to the development of strategies for a successful transition away from humanitarian provision of short-term food supplies and agriculture inputs towards long-term contingency planning and ultimately, reconstruction.

In this briefing paper, which draws on the full report,1 we provide an overview of the history and current situation

of agriculture and food security in Syria (Section 1); a description of drivers of change for the future of agriculture (Section 2); priority-setting, and strategy development to address skills and knowledge gaps (Section 3); models of

how best to incorporate local knowledge into decision-making (Section 4); and conclude with a discussion of next steps (Section 5).

Item Type: Research report (external)
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Directorate of Education > Centre for the Study of Higher Education
Depositing User: Thomas Parkinson
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2021 12:29 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2022 12:54 UTC
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