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Enhancing resilience to climate-induced conflict in the Horn of Africa - 2020 Resilience Conference Brief 12

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INTRODUCTION

The interaction between climatic shocks and conflict has long been thought to have negative effects on vulnerable communities. Climatic shocks are considered to be one of the root causes of conflict, especially in resource‐constrained settings. At the same time, conflicts tend to exacerbate existing vulnerability, leading to poverty‐conflict traps at the household, community, and national levels. Large parts of the Horn of Africa—including Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia—are susceptible to these types of traps, with Somalia epitomizing the complex links among climatic shocks, conflict, and weak governance. Worse, climate change and continued population growth already appear to be producing more frequent catastrophic events in the Horn, with disastrous consequences in arid and semiarid lowland areas (Figure 1).

Recent research sheds new light on the relationships among climatic shocks, conflict, household and community resilience, and policy interventions that can break the vicious climate‐ conflict cycle. This brief reviews this research and outlines its implications for regional development strategies, with special attention to pastoralist populations, who appear to be increasingly vulnerable.

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