Recurring storms: food insecurity, political instability, and conflict
This report (PDF) by CSIS reviews the prospects for increasing food security and links this to the issues of polictical stability and conflict situations. Changes in global weather patterns are now projected to have potentially devastating impacts on agriculture in the coming years and decades. The rising “double burden” of malnutrition already threatens to dampen global progress toward better health. Demographic change—a bulging population of youth in Africa and rapid urbanization—is creating opportunities for an economic growth spurt that will affect food demand and organized protests when food security is endangered. Food safety issues, economic and social inequities, and food price volatility are seen as persistent disrupters of food systems and food security. Renewed and expanded international collaboration to anticipate and prepare for recurring storms of food insecurity is essential. Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Syria are examples that vividly underscore the explosiveness of situations in which people find themselves unable to get the food they want and need. The experiences of post-conflict countries highlight some critical issues that need to be prioritized in order to regain sustainable food security. Averting future storms will require the recognition that food security challenges will extend long beyond 2030, political leadership must be visibly committed to these issues, and actions to reduce fragmentation of effort will be critical.