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Food Security

by Amit Hassan | 31-08-2023 16:34 recommendations 0

Food Security: Understanding its Importance and Impacts

Food security is a critical global concern that affects the well-being of millions of people. It refers to the availability, accessibility, and utilization of sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to meet the dietary needs and preferences of individuals. In recent years, the impacts of food security have become even more pronounced, with far-reaching effects on both individuals and societies.

Impacts of Food Insecurity:


    • Approximately 690 million people, or 8.9% of the global population, are undernourished.
    • Inadequate access to nutritious food can lead to various forms of malnutrition, including stunting, wasting, and deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals.
    • Malnutrition has long-term consequences on physical and cognitive development, particularly in children.

Health Challenges:

    • Inadequate nutrition weakens the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to diseases.
    • Food insecurity contributes to a higher risk of diet-related illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
    • Lack of access to diverse and nutritious foods can lead to micronutrient deficiencies, affecting overall health.

Economic Instability:

    • Food insecurity is often linked to poverty, creating a cycle that is difficult to break.
    • Families spend a significant portion of their income on food, leaving fewer resources for education, healthcare, and other essential needs.
    • Food price volatility can lead to economic instability, particularly in low-income countries.

Social Unrest:

    • Insufficient access to food can exacerbate social tensions and lead to unrest.
    • In extreme cases, food shortages have been linked to civil conflicts and migration.
    • Food security is intricately connected to peace and stability.

Global Statistics:

Hunger and Undernourishment:

    • As of 2021, an estimated 9.6% of the global population (around 746 million people) suffer from chronic hunger.
    • In sub-Saharan Africa, nearly 20% of the population faces undernourishment.
    • Asia has the highest number of undernourished people, with Southern Asia accounting for the largest share.

Malnutrition and Stunting:

    • Globally, around 149 million children under the age of 5 are stunted, indicating chronic malnutrition.
    • In Africa, nearly 30% of children are stunted, hindering their physical and cognitive development.

Obesity and Overweight:

    • Paradoxically, obesity is also a part of the food security challenge.
    • Over 2 billion people, or roughly 30% of the global population, are overweight or obese.
    • This highlights the issue of "hidden hunger" where individuals have access to calories but lack proper nutrition.

Addressing the Challenge:

Sustainable Agriculture:

    • Investing in sustainable agricultural practices can enhance food production while preserving natural resources.
    • Crop diversification, efficient irrigation, and agroforestry contribute to higher yields and resilience to climate change.

Social Safety Nets:

    • Governments can implement social safety net programs to provide vulnerable populations with access to food during times of crisis.
    • Cash transfers, food vouchers, and school feeding programs are effective strategies.

Education and Awareness:

    • Promoting nutrition education and awareness helps individuals make informed food choices.
    • Teaching proper nutrition, especially to mothers and caregivers, can have a positive impact on children's health.

Reducing Food Waste:

    • Roughly one-third of all food produced is lost or wasted.
    • Addressing food waste reduces pressure on resources and increases food availability.

In Conclusion:

Food security is not just a matter of having enough to eat; it's about ensuring that every individual has access to safe, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food. The impacts of food insecurity are multifaceted and far-reaching, affecting health, economies, and social cohesion. By implementing sustainable practices, investing in education, and fostering international cooperation, we can work towards a more food-secure world, where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

Food Security


  • Bangladesh Former E-gen Ambassador Amit Hassan
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