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Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response


4.3. Food security: livelihoods

The resilience of people’s livelihoods and their vulnerability to food insecurity are largely determined by the resources (or assets) available to them and how these have been affected by a disaster. These resources include financial capital (such as cash, credit, savings) and also include physical (houses, machinery), natural (land, water), human (labour, skills), social (networks, norms) and political (influence, policy) capital. Key to those who produce food is whether they have access to land that can support production and whether they have the means to continue to farm. Key to those who need income to get their food is whether they have access to employment, markets and services. For people affected by disasters, the preservation, recovery and development of the resources necessary for their food security and future livelihoods should be a priority.

Prolonged political instability, insecurity and the threat of conflict may seriously restrict livelihood activities and access to markets. Households may have to abandon their plots and may lose assets, whether left behind, destroyed or taken by warring parties.

The three standards relate to primary production, income generation and employment, and access to markets, including goods and services.