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Unpacking the Links between Conflict and Child Welfare: Evidence from a Foreign Insurgency

Heidi Kaila (), Larissa Nawo () and Hyuk Harry Son ()
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Heidi Kaila: World Bank
Larissa Nawo: University of Dschang, Dschang-Cameroon
Hyuk Harry Son: Cornell University

No 353, HiCN Working Papers from Households in Conflict Network

Abstract: Violent conflicts have enduring effects on child welfare, but little is understood about the mechanisms underlying these effects. Using data from Cameroon collected from a decade before to shortly after the eruption of the Boko Haram insurgency in the country, we study the immediate impacts of terrorist attacks on child welfare. We find that Boko Haram attacks lead to an immediate decrease in weight-for-height for children under five – an indicator of short-term health and nutrition. Furthermore, we find a reduction in health care service utilization which can prolong and aggravate fever and diarrhea. We do not find effects on dietary diversity. Our results are not driven by changes in the sample of children alive, as child mortality is un-affected by the conflict. The results underscore the importance of health care service provision in conflict-affected areas urgently after the eruption of violence to prevent irreversible impacts from taking place.

Keywords: Terrorism; Boko Haram; Child health and nutrition; Child labor; Cameroon (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D74 I1 I32 J13 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 41 pages
Date: 2021-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-dev and nep-hea
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