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Are Shocks Really Increasing? A Selective Review of the Global Frequency, Severity, Scope, and Impact of Five Types of Shocks

International Food Policy Research Institute
Year Published:
Resource Type:
Evaluations and Research

Recent policy statements refer to increasingly frequent and intense shocks as one of the main reasons for focusing attention and investments on building resilience for food and nutrition security. This paper investigates whether shocks have actually increased in frequency, severity, scope, and impact by looking at historical 25‐year trends for five different types of shocks: conflicts, natural disasters, climate change, food price volatility, and health crises related to food safety and agriculture. Through its limited review, the paper finds that while some shocks have not increased, others have become more severe or intense and are projected to continue in the same direction in the near future, posing risks to the food and nutrition security of poor and vulnerable people around the world.