Bethany Eigenfeld, M.A. Food Studies

World Food Programme, Italy

For the internship course of the Food Studies Master’s program at the American University of Rome, I had the opportunity to work at the World Food Programme headquarters. My contract was with the Market Analysis team of the Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) unit, however I have also had the chance to work with the mobile VAM unit (mVAM) on some of their surveys as well as on my Master’s thesis. The most fulfilling experience of my internship thus far has been a migration study conducted by the market team with the help of the mVAM team, especially as parts of the study were very helpful and relevant to my thesis. The migration report done by VAM helped to provide evidence of food insecurity as being a key driver of international migration and refugees. It also established links between armed conflict, food security, international migration, and refugees. Understanding the effect of conflict on food security has been where I have directed my studies at AUR, making the opportunity to work with the subject in a professional setting an amazing turn of events. The main recommendations that came out from the migration study done during my time at WFP were to continue research into the food security of countries with high amounts of refugees and migrants as well as to further development of understanding the links between conflict and food security. In terms of my program at AUR, these recommendations have fit very well into the research I have done throughout my studies and for my thesis. And last but not least, I also had the exciting and rewarding opportunity to participate in a FAO session to present the focus group discussion section of the migration study I worked on during my internship.