The Impact of Civil Conflict on Child Malnutrition and Mortality, Nigeria, 2002-2013

27 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2019

See all articles by Embry Howell

Embry Howell

The Urban Institute

Timothy Waidmann

The Urban Institute

Nikhil Holla

The Urban Institute

Nancy Birdsall

Center for Global Development

Kevin Jiang

Baylor University

Date Written: August 29, 2018

Abstract

The new millennium brought renewed attention to improving the health of women and children. In this same period, direct deaths from conflicts have declined worldwide, but civilian deaths associated with conflicts have increased. Nigeria is among the most conflict-prone countries in sub-Saharan Africa, especially recently with the Boko Haram insurgency in the north. This paper uses two data sources, the 2013 Demographic and Health Survey for Nigeria and the Social Conflict Analysis Database, linked by geocode, to study the effect of these conflicts on child health. We show a strong association between living close to a conflict zone and acute malnutrition in Nigerian children in 2013. This is related to the severity of the conflict, measured both in terms of the number of conflict deaths and the length of time the child was exposed to conflict. The association with mortality is much less clear, with essentially no significant relationship to conflict detected using these data for the period studied. Undoubtedly civil conflict is limiting the future prospects of Nigerian children and the country’s economic growth. In Nigeria conflicts in the north are expected to continue with sporadic attacks and continued damaged infrastructure. Thus, the children in Nigeria will continue to suffer the consequences documented in this study.

Suggested Citation

Howell, Embry and Waidmann, Timothy and Holla, Nikhil and Birdsall, Nancy and Jiang, Kevin, The Impact of Civil Conflict on Child Malnutrition and Mortality, Nigeria, 2002-2013 (August 29, 2018). Center for Global Development Working Paper No. 494 (2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3310513 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3310513

Embry Howell

The Urban Institute

2100 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
United States

Timothy Waidmann

The Urban Institute ( email )

2100 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
United States

Nikhil Holla

The Urban Institute

2100 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
United States

Nancy Birdsall (Contact Author)

Center for Global Development ( email )

2055 L St. NW
5th floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States
202-416-0700 (Phone)

Kevin Jiang

Baylor University

Waco, TX 76798
United States

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