Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science


Political Science

First Advisor

Robert Urbatsch


Despite the benefit to hungry people in recipient countries, the use of food aid as a form of international assistance has become a source of contention among policy makers and researchers. The accusation is that food aid promotes the onset of conflict and sustains conflict in already volatile areas. This paper examines the relationship between food aid and conflict at the disaggregate, local level, with the purpose of determining if the provision of food aid increases conflict in recipient areas. The geospatial analysis performed as part of this study focused on 346 individual food aid events across 17 African countries between January 1995 and February 2016, and 19,498 corresponding conflict events occurring during the same time.

The number of localized conflict events was not found to increase with the provision of food aid when compared to numbers observed in the pre and post aid periods. Examination of the active aid period indicated that the provision of emergency aid increased the number of localized conflict events more than the provision of non-emergency aid (planned or program aid). From this finding, it is recommended that aid be provided as quickly as possible to segments of the population struggling due to economic disadvantage or isolated crop failure. To reduce conflict associated with aid theft during transport, this study suggests that food aid is most effectively provided at secure distribution sites located away from main supply routes and in areas with well-developed road networks.


Copyright Owner

Elizabeth Christine Dippold



File Format


File Size

89 pages