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Instability in the Middle East is the biggest threat to the Arabian Gulf’s fragile food security, according to a report by Chatham House.

The region is vulnerable because imports account for between 80 and 90 per cent of food consumption in the GCC, where food self-sufficiency is unattainable due to high temperatures, low rainfall and scarce renewable freshwater sources.

However, events such as the 2011 uprisings, political instability in Egypt and Syria, food-price spikes, and Iran’s threats to close the Strait of Hormuz have “sharpened” the risks.

“The worst-case scenario is conflict in the wider Middle East and North Africa region that disrupts...

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