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Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum

Food security and violent conflict: Introduction to the special issue

We review briefly recent trends in food security and violent conflict and the quantitative literature discussing their interactions, as reflected by the papers in this special issue. We find a large diversity in experiences of food security and conflict, posing a challenge for causal identification which can be resolved by spatially disaggregated, high frequency micro-level data on both food security and conflict. We identify examples of strong individual and institutional capacities to cope with conflict, maintaining food security against the odds across very diverse settings, stressing the importance in accounting for the type of conflict at the micro-level. We also discuss how the concept of resilience is a useful lens for understanding household food security in conflict settings and we outline how food insecurity and conflict can lead to protracted crises. Finally, we identify future research topics in this field. Overall, the special issue contributes to the literature on food security and violent conflict by highlighting three insights: First, the need for adequate data to advance the analytical and policy agendas; second, the diversity of experiences of conflict and food security; and, third, the decisive role played by specific practices and policies in smoothing the negative effects of conflicts for food security.

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