2017: Arif Husain
Famines in the 21st Century: The political economy of inaction?
Tuesday, May 9, 2017 from 4:30 to 6:00 pm
Albert M. Bender Room, Bing Wing
Cecil H. Green Library, Stanford University
Last year the world signed on to the Sustainable Development Goals whereby promising a world free of hunger by 2030. Today about 800 million people experience chronic hunger on a regular basis; more than 100 million people are severely food insecure; and over 20 million people are at the verge of a famine in four countries—N E Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen. Conflicts coupled with higher frequency and intensity of natural disasters are major contributors to today’s food insecurity crises. The development and humanitarian assistance is under extreme stress to help even those facing famines, so is it unrealistic to envision a hunger free world in the next fifteen years? Husain analyzes the political economy of inaction particularly in a globalized fast changing world—its moral, security, and inter-generational implications! He examines the feasibility of zero hunger and discusses what it will take to get there.
Arif Husain is Chief Economist and Director of the Food Security Analysis and Trends Service at United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) based in Rome, Italy. Arif joined WFP in 2003 and since then he has served in many senior positions both in the field and at the headquarters. He has also worked for the World Bank and taught at the Hubert H Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. Arif’s work focuses on analysing food security and welfare conditions in developing countries to inform humanitarian and development response. His research interests include application of information technologies to improve humanitarian response; understanding linkages between poverty, hunger, conflict and migration; and analysing how global economic shocks impact food security, social protection and emergency and development assistance. Arif has a Ph.D. in agricultural and applied economics with a minor in forestry from the University of Minnesota.