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Conflicts, Rural Development and Food Security in West Africa


  • Margarita Flores

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)


This paper examines food security in the context of conflict in West Africa. The analysis developed in the paper recognises the importance of defining conflict type and the trends in conflict so that conflict and post-conflict policies may be implemented. The relationship between food security and conflict is analysed. Whilst conflict exacerbates food security, food insecurity can itself fuel conflict. Strategies designed to assist in post-war rehabilitation need to address key dimensions of food security: availability, access and stability. It is argued in this paper, that consideration of these three dimensions are necessary joint conditions in moving towards a reduction in the numbers of hungry. The cases of Sierra Leone and Liberia are examined to consider the nature of conflict and how food security is being addresses and the necessary policy implications after prolonged violent conflict. Ghana is examined as an analytical contrast to show that the absence of conflict is not a sufficient condition for growth and reduced hunger.

Suggested Citation

  • Margarita Flores, 2004. "Conflicts, Rural Development and Food Security in West Africa," Working Papers 04-02, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
  • Handle: RePEc:fao:wpaper:0402

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:pje:journl:article16winii is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Arezki, Rabah & Brueckner, Markus, 2014. "Effects of International Food Price Shocks on Political Institutions in Low-Income Countries: Evidence from an International Food Net-Export Price Index," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 142-153.
    3. Paul, Saumik & Shonchoy, Abu S. & Dabalen, Andrew, 2015. "Food crop diversification as a risk mitigating strategy during conflict : evidence from Cote d'Ivoire," IDE Discussion Papers 496, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).

    More about this item


    Disasters; Food aid; Food production; Food security; Food supply; Malnutrition; Poverty; Refugees; Rural development; Social unrest; West Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • N47 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Africa; Oceania
    • N57 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Africa; Oceania
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure


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