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Conflict and Lack of Governance


Resources for Researchers is a database intended as a source for researchers, policymakers, students, and the public to become better informed of major recent analysis on global food security. Included are different perspectives provided through a range of academic journals, government research, think tanks, popular press and opinion pieces, and scholarly reviews. This information has been collected from open sources and includes works that have been produced within the last decade. We have noted gated articles. We will regularly update the database as new works are published. Other topics will be added in the future. This is a collaborative project. If you think we’ve missed a major piece of work, please let us know.

Conflict and Lack of Governance

The presence of conflict and instability in a country or region exacerbates food insecurity. Conflict can reduce the amount of food available, disrupt people’s access to food, limit families’ access to food preparation facilities and health care, and increase uncertainty about satisfying future needs for food and nutrition. However, it is also important to note food insecurity can exacerbate conflict as well, as seen in the 2008 and 2011 food riots. Therefore, studying the relationship between food security and conflict is crucial.

Explore the different topics and regions below:

Conflict and Food Insecurity

Conflict and Food Security in Africa

Conflict and Food Security in Central Asia and the Middle East

Food and the Arab Uprisings

Conflict and Food Insecurity

Harvesting Peace: Food Security, Conflict, and Cooperation

Emmy Simmons; (Environmental Change and Security Program Report Vol. 14, Issue 3), Washington, DC Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; 2013

This report explores the linkages between conflict and food security and, in what circumstances, food insecurity directly contributes to or causes conflict. It also provides USAID recommendations on future conflict and food security situations.

Food Insecurity and Violent Conflicts: Causes, Consequences, and Addressing the Challenges

Henk-Jan Brinkman and Cullen S. Hendrix; World Food Programme (WFP); July 2011

This paper discusses the effects of food insecurity on conflicts and the interventions that can break the link between food insecurity and conflict.

Conflict, Food Insecurity, and Globalization

Ellen Messer and Marc J. Cohen; International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); May 2006

Looking at the relationship between food security and conflict, country case studies suggest that production, trade structures, and food and financial policies determine peaceful or belligerent outcomes.

Food Security and Conflict

Saswati Bora, Iride Ceccacci, Christopher Delgado, and Robert Townsend World Development Report; 2011

Countries under the greatest amount of stress in terms of people to feed, water and land use, and price volatility are often least able to respond. The authors base food security on availability, access, utilization, and stability.

Famine Early Warning and Early Action: The Cost of Delay

Rob Bailey; The Royal Institute for International Affairs; July 2012

Famine early warning systems should be utilized in order to mitigate the effects of famine by using joint planning and decision-making. In Somalia, the mismanagement of early signs led to thousands of deaths from famine.

Food Insecurity and the Conflict Trap

Mark Notaras; UN University; 2011

This short article provides an overview of the links between civil unrest and food prices. Notaras focuses on the multi-dimensionality in a “which came first” problem-solution discussion.

Food Prices and Political Instability

Rabah Arezki and Markus Brückner; International Monetary Fund; March 2011

Using panal data from 120 countries the authors demonstrate the direct impact between a rise in international food prices on civil conflict and anti-government activities.

Conflict and Food Security in Africa

Explaining the African Food Riots of 2007-2008

Julia Berazneva and David R. Lee; 2011

This study analyzes the precipitating causes of the 2007-2008 riots throughout Africa. With higher levels of poverty, the likelihood of riots will increase.

West Africa: Sahel Food Crisis Overshadowed by Regional Conflict

Matthew Newsome; All Africa; March 2014

In describing the growing numbers of food insecure people in the Sahel, this reporter points out the numerous hurdles to providing food to those in need throughout the region. Food is not reaching conflict areas due to insecurity

Central African Republic-Complex Emergency

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); 2014

This fact sheet provides an overview of the conflict, food insecurity, and internal displacement situation in CAR in the spring of 2014.

Priced Out of Food in CAR

IRIN News; April 2014

The mass departures of Muslims in CAR due to conflict has had an adverse impact on availability of basic foodstuffs, especially the departure of Muslim businessmen in trade and transport activities. The lack of security in the country points directly to an increase in food prices.

CAR ‘can’t wait anymore’-WFP

Eva Donelli, International Development News; April 2014

Donelli interviews WFP West Africa regional director, Denise Brown, about how the conflict and displacements in CAR have created a humanitarian crisis for food and security.

"It Doesn't Get Much Worse"-WFP Economist on C.A.R.

Arif Husain, World Food Programme; April 2014

In this first-hand account, World Food Program’s Chief Economist, Arif Husain, describes the impact the conflict in Central African Republic is having on commerce from surplus-producing areas to deficit areas, creating food insecurity. The agriculture industry and the economy in general are struggling due to the instability and conflict among armed groups.

Continued Unrest in Northeastern Nigeria Drives Crisis Level Food Insecurity

Famine Early Warning Systems; March 2014

This Famine Early Warning Systems (FEWS) report states that the conflict in Nigeria continues to undermine food security conditions. Read more about the situation.

Sudan: 4 Million Sudanese Face Food Insecurity

Joe Decapua; Voice of America; April 2014

Food insecurity caused by conflict, displacement, and poor harvests could affect as many as 4 million Sudanese in 2014.

South Sudan Conflict Reverses Progress on Food Security

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP); March 2014

In this joint release FAO and WPF warn that although South Sudan had achieved great progress in food security in the past 5 years, the work is threatened by the conflict that erupted in December 2013.

Famine Fears in S. Sudan; But leaders unconcerned

Associated Press; April 2014

Conflict in South Sudan has led to over 7 million people being at risk of hunger.

UN warns of 'grave' food shortage in Somalia

Associated Press; February 2014

Food insecurity in Somalia is increasing as more than 800,000 are additionally considered to be experiencing acute crisis requiring immediate humanitarian assistance.

Conflict and Food Security in Central Asia and the Middle East

Agriculture, Food, and Poverty in Afghanistan

Anthony H. Cordesman and Adam Mausner, Center for Strategic and International Studies; 2010

In this CSIS report, the authors make a direct connection between corruption, weak governance and Afghanistan’s food insecurity.

Fighting Food Insecurity in Afghanistan

IRIN Asia; 2013

Internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returning Afghan refugees are at greater risks of food insecurity in the post-conflict state. Grain reserves are essential to restoring food security.

Conflict, Food Price Shocks and Food Insecurity: The Experience of Afghan Households

Anna D’Souza, Dean Jolliffe; Institute for Study of Labor; 2012

This study finds that conflict exacerbates the effects of food price shocks on already vulnerable populations.

Civil War and the devastation of Syria's food system

Rami Zurayk; Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development; 2013

Food insecurity in Syria is associated with the civil war, which has resulted in the displacement of over two million people and the destruction of farmlands. More than one million people have fled Syria into other states with precarious food security situations.

Accessing Food Security in Yemen

Olivier Ecker, Clemens Breisinger, Christen McCool, Xinshen Diao, Jose Funes, Liangzhi You, Bingxin Yu; International Food Policy Research Institute; 2010

Alongside the fuel and food crisis, Yemen is experiencing increasing levels of food insecurity due to the lack of job growth, distorted economic system, and inefficient social transfer systems. This paper analyzes the food security situation as a result of these factors.

Food and the Arab Uprisings

Food Prices and Political Instability in North Africa and the Middle East

Marco Lagi, Karla Z. Bertrand and Yaneer Bar-Yam; New England Complex Systems Institute; 2011

This study identifies a food-price threshold that, above it, protests become likely. It also identifies food prices as a precipitating cause of the Arab Uprisings.

Teetering on the Edge

Ben Grossman-Cohen; Oxfam America; February 2011

The rise of food prices is one of the many factors that sparked the early riots in Egypt, but Grossman-Cohen argues “it is this mix of poverty and injustice that puts global stability at risk.”

Rising Food Prices Can Topple Governments, Too

Marilyn Geewax; NPR; January 2011

This article takes a look at how rising food prices caused riots in Arab countries in 2011, thus beginning the Arab Spring.

The Rural and Agricultural Roots of the Tunisian Revolution: When Food Security Matters

Alia Gana; International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food; May 2012

Gana links the agricultural development and integration of Tunisia into the global economy to the Arab Uprisings and the Tunisian Revolution.