Engaging Religious Actors in Addressing Famine Emergencies
January 26, 2018
In February 2017 the United Nations declared a famine emergency in light of the imminent danger of starvation facing an estimated 20 million people in four countries. Other countries face grave food shortages that present urgent humanitarian needs and undermine long-term prospects for peace and development. The imperative to act on hunger is shared across religious divides, and the common purpose that binds different religious communities portends well for peacebuilding and progress in the affected areas. Religious actors should thus be an integral part of the international response to famine emergencies as well as to the Zero Hunger challenge (United Nations Sustainable Development Goal [SDG] 2). G20 attention and support to religious roles could enhance responses to the famine and peacebuilding in affected areas. Concurrently, interfaith and intrafaith action on SDG 2, highlighted as part of the global agenda, can speed progress towards Zero Hunger. This discussion paper was co-authored by Berkley Center Senior Fellow Katherine Marshall with Mohammed Abu-Nimer, Cole Durham, Manoj Kurian, Ulrich Nitschke, Arnhild Spence, and Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp.