Main content

Food under siege

How to eat behind siege lines

Behind siege lines, eating well can become an act of defiance.

When access to a city is blocked, food supplies quickly plummet, electricity and water become scarce, and people are forced to find new ways to feed themselves. Black markets thrive, and some may risk their lives to feed their families. But a dwindling food supply can also inspire creativity and compassion.

Emily Thomas meets people who have lived under siege conditions in Aleppo, Syria, the Gaza strip, and Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

A journalist tells us how it feels to eat abundantly in a café in the middle of a city where most are struggling to eat. An electrician explains why feeding cats in the middle of a war-zone felt like a statement of compassion and resistance. And a cook explains how to run a catering company when electricity, water and food are limited.

(Photo: A group of men share a meal on the street in war-torn Syria. Credit: BBC/ Getty Images)

Available now

26 minutes

Clip

Broadcasts

Food Chain highlights

Food Chain highlights

Tea, coffee, spices, chillies ... snack on a selection of programme highlights

Podcast