Tackling the root causes of migration in the places left behind

Dr. Claudia Sadoff

Claudia W. Sadoff has taken up her new post as director general at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), following her appointment in May by decision of the Institute’s Board of Governors.

On the occasion of this year’s World Food Day, she has contributed an opinion article to Euractiv, which is an independent pan-European media network specializing in EU policies. In line with the Day’s 2017 migration theme, the article calls for investments addressing “food (and water) insecurity and social fragility in rural areas.”  Underlining key measures needed to make such investments effective, Sadoff draws attention to recent research on the communities from which migrants depart, conducted by IWMI through the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE).


Following is an excerpt from the article:

Mass migration has become a major political challenge in Europe and elsewhere. While the media documents the perilous journeys that migrants undertake, the hardships and hopes of the rural areas from which many come receive less attention, meaning the root causes of migration persist, says Claudia Sadoff.

People migrate for many reasons. Many are ‘pushed’ by conflict, danger or disaster. Others are ‘pulled’ by the hope of opportunities for more stable and prosperous livelihoods. At the heart of the migration challenge is the need to diminish the hardships that propel unplanned migration and to foster more stable and prosperous livelihoods at home.

This year, World Food Day focuses on investing in food security and rural development to change the future of migration. The fundamental message is that food (and water) insecurity and social fragility in rural areas are both causes and consequences of unplanned migration. Failing to address them can potentially trigger a downward spiral that puts even more people on the move.

Read the full article.

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