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

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  • D'Souza, Anna

    ()
    (Economic Research Service, USDA)

  • Jolliffe, Dean

    ()
    (World Bank)

Abstract

Using nationally-representative household survey data and confidential geo-coded data on violence, we examine the linkages between conflict, food insecurity, and food price shocks in Afghanistan. Spatial mappings of the raw data reveal large variations in levels of food insecurity and conflict across the country; surprisingly, food insecurity is not higher in conflict areas. In a multivariate regression framework, we exploit the 2008 spike in wheat flour prices to estimate differential effects on household food security – measured by calorie intake and the real value of food consumed – based on the level of conflict in the province where the household is located. We find robust evidence that households in provinces with higher levels of conflict experience larger declines in food security than households in provinces with lower levels of conflict. Therefore while conflict may not be the driving factor in overall levels of food insecurity in Afghanistan, it may limit the coping mechanisms available to households in the face of rising food prices. Gaining a better understanding of such linkages and knowing the spatial distribution of food insecurity 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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6621.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6621

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

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  1. D'Souza, Anna & Jolliffe, Dean, 2010. "Food Security in Afghanistan: Household-level Evidence from the 2007-08 Food Price Crisis," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association 61139, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  2. Angus Deaton & Salman Zaidi, 2002. "Guidelines for Constructing Consumption Aggregates for Welfare Analysis," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14101, August.
  3. Anna D'Souza & Dean Jolliffe, 2012. "Rising Food Prices and Coping Strategies: Household-level Evidence from Afghanistan," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(2), pages 282-299, August.
  4. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and Grievance in Civil War," Development and Comp Systems 0409007, EconWPA.
  5. Blattman, Christopher & Miguel, Edward, 2009. "Civil War," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkele qt90n356hs, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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