Research Handbook on Disasters and International Law
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Research Handbook on Disasters and International Law

Edited by Susan C. Breau and Katja L.H. Samuel

International law’s role in governing disasters is undergoing a formative period in its development and reach, in parallel with concerted efforts by the international community to respond more effectively to the increasing number and intensity of disasters across the world. This Research Handbook examines a broad range of legal regimes directly and indirectly relevant to disaster prevention, mitigation and reconstruction across a spectrum of natural and manmade disasters, including armed conflict.
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Chapter 12: An evolving role for law and policy in addressing food security before, during and after a disaster

Anastasia Telesetsky


Food security exists when all people have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their needs. When food security is jeopardized, communities are more likely to become disaster victims. With predictions of global populations rising to 9 billion by 2050, states are facing challenges in meeting national food security. Law as a social institution must play a role in addressing food instability as a disaster risk. This chapter examines what role law currently plays before, during and after a disaster by discussing a state’s duty to prevent or mitigate environmental conditions likely to endanger food security, the human right to food during a disaster, and the obligation for States to ‘build back better’ after a disaster. The chapter concludes with a proposal for increasing investments in regional food networks to address both food security and disaster prevention.

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