In this edition of the Global Risk Bulletin, we examine the impact of rising global food prices on political stability, assess the local and regional ramifications of the ongoing Houthi conflict in Yemen, and discuss the potential for Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro to resort to extrajudicial means for staying in power should he lose at the polls in the 2022 presidential election.
RISING FOOD PRICES: tHE FUEL FOR GLOBAL UNREST?
The Covid-19 pandemic along with a range of additional factors have pushed global food prices up almost 33 percent over the past year. Particularly in developing countries where social safety nets are less extensive and governments have fewer means available to cushion the impact of rising food prices, we may see a resultant increase in unrest and political instability. In some countries food price related protests have already broken out; with no clear easing of prices in sight, further unrest can be expected.
YEMEN'S NEAR FORGOTTEN WAR
In Yemen the protracted conflict continues to exact a high humanitarian cost. Recent food price increases and a weakening Rial have compounded the problem, and the security environment is set to remain complex and unresolved. This is likely to spell further difficulties internally, but also for the region and for any commercial operators in the area.
LASHING OUT: BOLSONARO’S POWER PLAYS STOKE FEARS OF UNREST AHEAD OF THE 2022 ELECTIONS
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s popular support has declined steadily through his tenure, and there is a real possibility that the embattled head of state may seek to circumvent due political process to stay in power beyond the 2022 elections should he lose. As a result, we can expect intensified protests and sharpening socio-political divides until the outcome of the elections is settled.