Over the past three years, food security recovery and famine mitigation have been a major preoccupation of government, the civil society and private agribusiness sector in the SADC region and particularly in countries where famine has become a recurrent problem. Countries affected by famine have provided important models on how to react to famine and manage the relationship between famine relief and protection of domestic food security interests in the midst of the humanitarian process. Conflicts have emerged between government, the food relief organizations and the private agribusiness sector.
The conflicts reflect the complex trade-off and complementary relationships between the spectrum of social, economic, and political goals that shape domestic food and agricultural policy environment, as well as the international political economy of subsidized food production for sustaining global relief operations in developing countries. While some SADC countries allowed famine relief operators to distribute food, Zimbabwe maintained control.