Paper: Exploring the Food-Migration Nexus: Understanding the Role of Food in Migrant Camps and Border Settings

Paper details

Paper authors Rodalyn Apple Ariola
In panel on Conflict and Hunger: Untangling the Connections and Building Food System Resilience
Paper presenter(s) will be presenting In-Person / Online


Who talks about the food-migration nexus? And why is this link important to the issues of migrant encampment and border crossing? This paper reflects on and assesses the dominant voices that have contributed to the conversation on food as a tool for providing humanitarian aid and regulating borders for migration. It highlights that the interrelation of food politics and migration studies often does not include a comprehensive analysis of food at refugee and displacement camps. If this issue is not addressed within a broader food politics context, the food security of migrants such as refugees and displaced populations remains restricted to food distribution controlled solely by humanitarian organizations.

This paper focuses on three key aspects. Firstly, it emphasizes the humanitarian function of traditional food organizations and the lack of attention given to refugees and displaced populations in food politics and rural development agendas. Secondly, it explores the significant involvement of food aid actors in promoting surveillance and control at camps and borders. Lastly, it examines the use of food as a tool of resistance by migrants within the current humanitarianism and border control systems.