Tightening Borders and Threats to Food Security
Alan de Brauw and Kate Ambler
- Politically motivated arguments for immigration restrictions are increasingly common but not supported by evidence on economic and employment impacts, crime, or fiscal costs associated with migrants.
- Voluntary migration can improve food security both for migrants and for the families left behind by raising incomes and reducing pressure on resources. Migration provides a critical option for poor rural and urban families.
- Conflict is driving increasing involuntary migration. Despite concerns, refugee camps can benefit local communities by stimulating incomes and entrepreneurial activity.
- Further research is needed on the links between migration and food security, but existing evidence suggests a net positive impact for migrants, their families, and the communities accepting migrants.
- Improve mechanisms for seasonal migration. Helping farmers to migrate within countries to find alternative work during the lean season can boost food security.
- Reduce international migration costs at the source. In the face of increasing restrictions abroad, migrant source countries can lower domestic obstacles to migration and support participation of members of poor communities in legal migrant work programs.
- Develop innovative financial products to facilitate migration. Migration can be costly, but new technologies and related financial products may offer ways to lower costs for the poor.
- Intensify use of technology to improve services before and during crises. New information and communication technologies are improving early warning systems and management of crises and refugee camps.