Conflict is main cause of hunger globally: new survey highlights links between conflict and hunger 

  • Globally, almost one in five people (19%) say conflict is to blame for their children going hungry  
  • 11% of people globally believe violence and conflict are the top threat to children’s wellbeing 

  • 45% people believe conflict or war is a main cause of hunger globally 

  • Conflict-affected countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (44%), Chad (32%), Iraq (35%) were the most likely to cite conflict and war as the main reason for child hunger in their country  

Monday, 16 October 2023 - On World Food Day international aid organisation, World Vision, says that new research links conflict to increasing hunger levels. 

As millions of people in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory experience a deepening crisis, and thousands of people impacted by decades of conflict in Afghanistan are in deeper crisis due to earthquake, World Vision’s recent survey carried out by IPSOS found that 45 per cent of people believe that conflict in a main driver of hunger globally. 

The research, carried out in 16 countries across the globe, also found that almost one in five people surveyed said that conflict was to blame for their own children going hungry. People in conflict affected countries such as DRC (44%), Chad (32%) and Iraq (35%) were the most likely to cite conflict and war as the main reason for child hunger in their country. 

“In recent weeks we have seen the devastating impact of conflict in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, and it is children who are the ones who suffer the most. We hear about casualties and structural damage, but what is less reported is the devastating impact that conflict has on increasing levels of hunger and malnutrition for children impacted by conflict,”  said Dana Buzducea, World Vision leader for Advocacy and External Engagement. 

Around the world, climate, conflict and hunger are feeding into one another in a vicious spiral that is aggravating humanitarian crises worldwide and leaving millions in need of aid. Already, before last week’s escalating conflict, 1.5 million people in the occupied Palestinian territory were food insecure. World Vision says that this number is very likely to increase exponentially as the result of increased violence. 

 “Conflict is destroying the lives of millions of children globally. Many cannot access basic services such as health and education, and millions are hungry because too many times violence and conflict are chosen over peace.  Often when the media lens leaves a conflict zone, families are left to survive with little or no means of feeding their children. It is a silent crisis that is left behind," said Buzducea. 

The IPSOS survey found that hunger is impacting a huge proportion of people in most countries around the world, with 46% of people worried about finding money to buy food in the last month, and 30% of people surveyed did not know where their next meal was coming from. 

The research did provide some hope for the future though. Most (89%) of global citizens firmly believe that we all have a responsibility to end world hunger and if governments, citizens and NGOs work together, we can move more quickly towards ending hunger and malnutrition among children. Individuals are also doing their own part: in the past 12 months many have given food to someone in need (43%), supported a hungry family locally (26%), or donated to a charity or faith-based community organizations which provides food for the hungry (21%), among other actions. 

“The public believes that with the will, there is a way to reduce hunger levels, and ensure no child dies because they do not have enough to eat. We know that conflict regularly is the reason that children are prevented from accessing nutritious food. It is essential that the international community priorities peace and does everything in its power to bring an end to violent conflict so that all children, no matter where they were born, can achieve their God given potential.” said Ms Buzducea. 


For more information, please contact Niamh Cooper, Director of Public Engagement, World Vision International Phone 00 353 87 942 3371 Email: 

About World Vision 

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian and development organisation dedicated to working with children, families and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice. 

World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.  For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter @WorldVision 

About the Study 

Full report available here:

These are the results of a 16-country survey conducted for World Vision by Ipsos. Ipsos interviewed an international sample of 14,131 adults aged 18 and over in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chad, the DRC, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Malawi, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, U.K, U.S, and aged 19 and over in Bangladesh. 

The fieldwork was conducted between August 16, 2023 and September 4, 2023 online in Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, U.K and the U.S. The fieldwork was conducted via Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI), between September 13, 2023 and September 19, 2023 in the DRC and Malawi, between September 13, 2023 and September 21, 2023 in Chad and between August 31, 2023 and September 15, 2023 in Iraq. 

The sample consists of approximately 1,000 individuals in each of Canada, the U.S., Germany, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Bangladesh and approximately 500 individuals in Chad, the DRC, Malawi and Iraq. All countries have been equally weighted so that each country has an equal impact on the aggregate results. 

The samples in Philippines, Brazil, Peru, Bangladesh, Chad, DRC, Malawi, Iraq and Mexico are more urban, educated, and/or more affluent than the general population. They are not nationally representative of their country. The survey results for these countries should be viewed as reflecting the views of the more “connected” segment of their population. The samples in Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, South Korea, U.S. are national representative. 

The “Global Country Average” reflects the average results for all the countries where the survey was conducted. It has not been adjusted to the population size of each country and is not intended to suggest a total result. Where results do not sum to 100 or the “difference” appears to be +/-1 more/less than the actual, this may be due to rounding, multiple responses or the exclusion of “don’t know” or not stated responses. The precision of Ipsos online polls are calculated using a credibility interval with a poll of 1,000 accurate to +/-3.5 percentage points and of 500 accurate to +/-5.0 percentage points. For more information on Ipsos’ use of credibility intervals, please visit the Ipsos website. The publication of these findings abides by local rules and regulations.