Conflict remains the primary driver of acute food insecurity in Africa, imperiling over 100 million people.
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Acute food insecurity in Africa has increased by over 60 percent in the past year and threatens to widen further as the effects of COVID-19 exacerbate other drivers such as conflict and political mismanagement.
Development efforts to stabilize conflict-affected regions should focus on a wider geographic area than those that are most fragile. Strengthening the resilience of outlying regions can help prevent deterioration in these locations while providing a more solid base of support for areas affected by crisis. This may require intensifying agriculture and strengthening markets in peri-urban and rural areas where displaced persons are living. Private sector investments can also be encouraged in these areas by reducing the risks investors face. Development efforts must simultaneously amplify the voices of effective local leaders and institutions while improving public sector effectiveness.
Conflict is a central factor in the geography of Africa’s food insecurity. The acuteness of this insecurity deepens the longer a conflict continues.
The humanitarian situation in South Sudan continues to deteriorate as the conflict persists unabated. Four years of widespread violence have left 6 million people—half the population—acutely food insecure.
Nineteen African countries are facing acute levels of food insecurity. Ten of those countries are experiencing internal conflict.
More than 80 percent of the record 137 million Africans facing acute food insecurity are in conflict-affected countries underscoring that conflict continues to be the primary driver of Africa’s food crisis.
Global warming is contributing to more and extended heat waves, a tripling of droughts, a quadrupling of storms, and a tenfold increase in flooding in Africa since the 1970s—exacerbating security threats on the continent.
Nigeria faces an array of security challenges beyond Boko Haram. Distinguishing these threats and understanding their socio-geographic contours is essential for adapting customized solutions.
A surge of violent events by militant Islamist groups in Africa, led by escalations in the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin, sets record and widens instability.
Challenges to climate-related security include but are not limited to resource competition, shocks to food security, climate-induced migration, transboundary water management, and unintended consequences from climate policies. Mainstreaming a climate perspective into existing programming can help reduce the risks. However, to ensure success in fragile states, progress may sometimes depend on whether the domestic elite finds it is in their self-interest to embrace such policies.
This document is intended as a planning toolkit for policymakers and practitioners as they navigate the process of developing maritime national security strategies in Africa. Compiled by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies in 2016, the toolkit reflects the contributions and experiences of dozens of African maritime security professionals who have undertaken maritime security strategy planning processes.