Civil Unrest to Surge Worldwide as Food & Energy Shortages Persist, Report Warns

The socioeconomic pressure that’s building amid a deepening energy and food shortage crisis is leading to surges in worldwide civil unrest, a report is warning.

As food and energy shortages persist, the cost of living is soaring in countries around the world.

In Sri Lanka, Peru, Kenya, Ecuador, Iran, and Europe, pockets of unrest have already been observed.

However, new research forecasts that a broader wave of discontent is looming.

Earlier this year, Rockefeller Foundation President Rajiv Shah warned that a “massive, immediate food crisis” is on the horizon.

In June, United Nations said this summer that the world is “marching towards starvation.”

The UN said that the situation brings an increased likelihood of civil unrest and political violence.

UK-based risk consulting and intelligence firm Verisk Maplecroft is making sense of the impending global turmoil.

The company has just published an updated version of the Civil Unrest Index (CUI).

The CUI covers seven years of data.

It reveals the last quarter saw the most countries ever have moved higher in civil unrest risks (101 of the 198 countries tracked by the firm saw increased risks of civil unrest, while only 42 experienced reduced risks).

“The impact is evident across the globe, with popular discontent over rising living costs emerging on the streets of developed and emerging markets alike, stretching from the EU, Sri Lanka, Peru to Kenya, Ecuador, and Iran,” Verisk wrote in the report.

It adds that conditions are worsening as the frequency of protests and labor strikes could accelerate into fall.

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“Although there have been several high-profile and large-scale protests during the first half of 2022, the worst is undoubtedly yet to come,” the firm warned.

Verisk noted Algeria has the highest likelihood of projected civil unrest over the next half year because of rising inflation.

Other areas include Europe, mainly due to energy hyperinflation decimating household finances.

“Bosnia and Herzegovina, Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany, and Ukraine are all among the states with the biggest projected increases in risk,” the report said.

“Only a significant reduction in global food and energy prices can arrest the negative global trend in civil unrest risk.

“Recession fears are mounting, and inflation is expected to be worse in 2023 than in 2022,” Verisk said.

The question remains if central banks can arrest inflation with the most aggressive interest rate hikes in decades.

If not, then Verisk expects “the next six months are likely to be even more disruptive” than earlier this year.

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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