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

33 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2013

See all articles by Anna D'Souza

Anna D'Souza

School of Public Affairs, Baruch College, CUNY

Dean Jolliffe

World Bank; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 31, 2012

Abstract

Using nationally-representative household survey data and confidential geo-coded data on violence, we examine the relationship between conflict and food insecurity in Afghanistan. Spatial mappings of the raw data reveal large variations in levels of food insecurity and conflict across the country; surprisingly, high conflict provinces are not the most food insecure. Using a simple bivariate regression model of conflict (violent incidents and persons killed or injured) on food security (calorie intake and the real value of food consumed), we find mixed associations. But once we move to a multivariate framework, accounting for household characteristics and key commodity prices, we find robust evidence that in Afghanistan levels of conflict and food security are negatively correlated. We also find that households in provinces with higher levels of conflict experience muted declines in food security due to staple food price increases relative to households in provinces with lower levels of conflict, perhaps because the former are more disconnected from markets. Gaining a better understanding of linkages between conflict and food insecurity and knowing their spatial distributions can serve to inform policymakers interested in targeting scarce resources to vulnerable populations, for example, through the placement of strategic grain reserves or targeted food assistance programs.

Keywords: Afghanistan, food security, conflict, nutrition, poverty, spatial distribution

JEL Classification: D12, I3

Suggested Citation

D'Souza, Anna E. and Jolliffe, Dean Mitchell, Conflict, Food Price Shocks, and Food Insecurity: The Experience of Afghan Households (December 31, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2236284 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2236284

Anna E. D'Souza (Contact Author)

School of Public Affairs, Baruch College, CUNY ( email )

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Dean Mitchell Jolliffe

World Bank ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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