Embroiled in the heart of the Second World War, world leaders decided that hunger deserved their attention. The battle over hearts and minds would begin with the stomach.

That battle continues to this day. For the first time in a decade, the number of hungry people is on the rise. The scale of humanitarian need and the changing nature of global conflict requires fresh insight into the relationship between hunger and instability.

Winning the Peace examines what can happen when people do not have enough food at a time when more than 20 million stand on the brink of starvation. If left unchecked, food insecurity destabilizes nations, creating fertile ground for unrest in many forms, from migration and food riots to recruitment by violent extremists.

In other words: there is no security with food insecurity.

Show me a nation that cannot feed itself, and I'll show you a nation in chaos.

Senator Pat Roberts, Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee

Prolonged conflict has become the new normal. These crises are not easily contained, threatening regional and global stability.

Explore the Report

Full Report

Winning the Peace is among the most in-depth reviews of research on the link between food insecurity and instability ever produced.

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Executive Summary

The relationship between food insecurity and instability is complex and best understood as the sum of its many parts.

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Bob Dole and Tom Daschle shake hands
Associated Press/Susan Walsh


Senators Bob Dole and Tom Daschle represented different parties during their time as Majority Leaders in the U.S. Senate. But there was at least one thing they agreed on: the United States should lead the world in the fight to end hunger.

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Rick overlooking the settlement of blue tarped temporary homes
WFP/Ellie Kealey


WFP USA President and CEO Rick Leach outlines the stakes and opportunities during this time of growing humanitarian need as well as what gaps in knowledge and understanding this report aspires to provide its readers.

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A young boy sits on the curb by a shelled and damaged building and looks off to the side
WFP/Abeer Etefa


For the first time in a decade, the number of hungry people in the world is on the rise. Read the report’s major findings.

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Press Release

Comprehensive study demonstrates the role of food insecurity in destabilizing economies, societies and governments.

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A brief overview of what we found

The relationship between hunger and instability is complex. The report surfaced at least 11 drivers of food insecurity—from land competition and food price spikes to rainfall variability—linked to 9 distinct types of instability—ranging from peaceful protest to violent interstate conflict.

Approximately 95 percent of the over 50 peer-reviewed studies examined in Winning the Peace are able to establish an empirical link between food insecurity and instability. In turn, every instance of food-related instability can be characterized by a unique combination of “drivers” and individual “motivators.”

We can continue to provide leadership in the world, or we can turn our back on the world's hungry. We can empower our neighbors with the tools to put food on the table, or we can watch our enemies fill those same hands with weapons.

Bob Dole and Tom Daschle, Former Senate Majority Leaders

The Legacy of Sandy Berger

Sandy Berger's foresight and political acumen led him to identify early on the nexus between hunger and instability that defines humanitarian assistance in the modern era.

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The ONE Campaign/Morgana Wingard