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Armed Conflicts and Food Security

By Teodosijevic, Slobodanka B.

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Book Id: WPLBN0000063876
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 0.4 MB
Reproduction Date: Available via World Wide Web.
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Title: Armed Conflicts and Food Security  
Author: Teodosijevic, Slobodanka B.
Language: English
Subject: United Nations., Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. FAO agriculture series, Agriculture
Collections: United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; Digitizer: Fao


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Teodosijevic, S. B. (n.d.). Armed Conflicts and Food Security. Retrieved from

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Excerpt: During the forty-year period of the Cold War2 there were 120 wars involving many developing countries. Five of these involved more than one million casualties each, and a further six claimed more than 200,000 lives (de Soysa et al, 1999). Between 1950 and 1990, some fifteen million deaths were caused directly or indirectly by wars of all types - including international conflicts, civil war, and government violence against citizens (Steward and Fitzgerald, 2001). The end of the Cold War saw a transition towards peace in many areas in which conflict had been fuelled by East-West antagonism. But as this antagonism declined new wars broke out and in the period 1990-2001 there were 57 different major armed conflicts in 45 locations around the world (SIPRI, 2002). Most of these locations were in developing countries and more than half of the least developed countries3 have experienced major armed conflicts during the past twenty years (Fitzgerald, 2000). Most of these conflicts occurred in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. These post-Cold War conflicts were very different from those by proxy or the anti-colonial and national liberation struggles which had characterized developing countries? wars during the Cold War era. Tensions which had been suppressed by the superpowers? confrontation over several decades resurfaced, often exacerbated by ethnic and religious tensions, and by poverty. Civilian fatalities climbed from 5 percent of war-related deaths at the beginning of the century to more than 90 percent in the wars of the 1990s. Indeed, recent conflicts have tended to be much more violent, and have witnessed new weapons and patterns of conflict, including the indiscriminate use of land-mines and antipersonnel cluster bombs, as well as the proliferation of light weapons. As a result many of the victims have been civilians, mainly women and children, causing massive harm to the human development in these countries (UNDP, 1998). Conflicts destroy years of progress in building social structure, establishing functioning government institutions, fostering community-level solidarity and social cohesion and promoting economic development. Very often these conflicts are sustained through the pillage of natural resources, illicit trade, labor exploitation, land grabbing and mafia-style criminal activities. The conflicts in Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola and Sierra Leone fall into this category (IFPRI, 2001).


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