COVID-19, FOOD INSECURITY AND DOMESTIC UNREST IN NORTH AFRICA
North Africa already suffers from elevated levels of anti-government sentiment, largely due to longstanding socio-economic issues and government corruption. The strain imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic is making the outbreak of domestic unrest more likely in the coming months.
Rising food insecurity is a key factor in the growing potential for public protests. The disruption Covid-19 is causing to international trade will exacerbate concerns over access to food supplies and price hikes across North Africa.
This will compound underlying economic grievances that are negatively impacting stability in Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, with governments including Algeria announcing further spending cuts.
North African importers of staple goods and foodstuffs will be affected by supply chain disruption from key markets due to lockdown measures and export limits which seek to protect domestic supplies.
Growing food insecurity will remain a concern even after the impact of Covid-19 subsides, with Egypt in particular under pressure from population growth and external threats, such as Ethiopia’s new dam on the Nile, which will endanger Egyptian food production.
The following report assesses relevant risk indicators that could contribute to unrest in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria in the coming months, especially once government restrictions are lifted and the full extent of the pandemic’s impact becomes clear.
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