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The role of the private sector: biotechnology for developing-country agriculture problems and opportunities

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Building resilience to conflict through food-security policies and programs: An overview 2020 CONFERENCE BRIEF 3 • MAY 2014 FOOD INSECURITY AS A CAUSE AND CONSEQUENCE OF CONFLICT “Most wars of the late 20th century and early 21st century are ‘food wars,’ meaning that food is used as a weapon, food systems are destroyed in the course of conflict, and food insecurity persists as a legacy of conflict.”1 One and a half billion people still live in fragile, conflict‐ affected areas. People in these countries are about twice as likely to be malnourished and to die during infancy as people in other developing countries.2 This outcome is often a direct consequence of conflict: conflict reduces food availability by destroying agricultural assets and infrastructure. Conflict also often destroys physical infrastructure and increases the security risks associated with accessing food markets, thus driving up local food prices. This negative impact on food availability is accompanied by conflicts’ detrimental impacts on household‐level food security, particularly on key determinants of food insecurity such as nutrition, health, and education. Food insecurity is not only a consequence of conflict but can fuel and drive conflicts, especially in the presence of unstable political regimes, a youth bulge, stunted economic development, slow or falling economic growth, and high inequality.3 In particular, increases in food prices have greatly increased the risk of political unrest and conflicts. The 2007– 2008 global food crisis sparked rioting in 48 countries, and food insecurity at the national and household levels is a major cause of conflict in Arab countries, which supports the widely held view that food insecurity has been among the crucial causes of the Arab awakening.4 One of the key explanations for this “Arab exceptionalism” is that all Arab countries are net food importers and the vast majority of people in them are net food consumer

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