Food insecurity in Syria: A perennial wicked problem. (English)
Over twelve million people in Syria are estimated to be food insecure in 2021. Humanitarian and development agency responses to food insecurity typically entail direct food assistance and stimulation of market-driven activities. However, Syria’s food security crisis is characterised by complex interactions of environmental and human dimensions that can be overlooked in humanitarian responses and can’t be adequately addressed through rationalist approaches. While researchers have tried to predict future trends by situating Syria’s food insecurity in historical perspective, this rarely extends beyond the mid-20th Century. However, food insecurity has been a perennial feature of the Levant region since the Bronze Age. Through a thematic review of humanities literature and analysis of interviews with 30 informants (13 females and 17 males) living in northern Syria, we have sought to address the relative absence of historical perspectives in discussions of food insecurity in Syria and identify recurring themes that have characterised the drivers and responses to food insecurity from pre-Islamic times until the present day.