Extreme Weather and Civil War in Somalia: Does Drought Fuel Conflict through Livestock Price Shocks?

44 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2013

See all articles by Jean Francois Maystadt

Jean Francois Maystadt

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Olivier Ecker

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Athur Mabiso

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 1, 2013

Abstract

Climate change leads to more frequent and more intense droughts in Somalia. In a global context, weather shocks have been found to perpetuate poverty and fuel civil conflict. By relating regional and temporal variations in violent conflict outbreaks with drought incidence and severity, we show that this causality is valid also for Somalia at the local level. We find that livestock price shocks drive drought-induced conflicts through reducing the opportunity costs of conflict participation. Our estimation results indicate that a temperature rise of around 3.2 degrees Celsius — corresponding to the median Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scenario for eastern Africa by the end of the century — would lower cattle prices by about 4 percent and, in turn, increase the incidence of violent conflict by about 58 percent. Hence climate change will further aggravate Somalia’s security challenges and calls for decisive action to strengthen both drought and conflict resilience, especially in pastoralist and agropastoralist livelihoods.

Keywords: Civil War, climate change, conflict, drought, livestock, prices, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Southern Africa, East Africa, Africa South of Sahara, Africa, Horn of Africa

Suggested Citation

Maystadt, Jean Francois and Ecker, Olivier and Mabiso, Athur, Extreme Weather and Civil War in Somalia: Does Drought Fuel Conflict through Livestock Price Shocks? (February 1, 2013). IFPRI Discussion Paper 01243, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2228878 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2228878

Jean Francois Maystadt (Contact Author)

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Olivier Ecker

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Athur Mabiso

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

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