Food insecurity heightens the risk of political conflict, the likelihood of civil unrest, the breakdown of law and order, and undermines democracies. By the same token, civil conflict, political instability and factors such as corruption, migration and urbanization intensify food insecurity.
While food insecurity can drive political instability, the converse is also true. Inadequate governance and absence of the rule of law exacerbate the equitable distribution of resources—
particularly for unstable, low-income countries in need of agriculture investment and financing—and fuels unrest.
Food security will be an increasingly critical global security and planning priority at the international level for the next century, given its growing impact on political and economic stability. Amidst the backdrop of climate change, migration, and urbanization, food insecurity heightens the risk of political conflict, prolongs civil unrest, and threatens democratic governance. On the other hand, investing in food security will support other national priorities like national security, political stability, and economic growth.
Based on analysis conducted on behalf of the FSSG by the Economist Intelligence Unit based on its Global Food Security Index, it is now clear that countries with the highest political instability have the lowest levels of food security, that government investment in agricultural infrastructure is a key indicator of food security, and that food safety nets generally increase food affordability for those most in need.