Growing Cities, Growing Food Insecurity: How to Protect the Poor during Rapid Urbanization

Reducing poverty and improving equity
Posted Oct 30, 2020 | Center for Strategic and International Studies, Marie Ruel

The evidence on urban food security, diets, nutrition, and health, and their drivers, is outdated and fragmented and cannot provide the information needed to guide policy, argues Marie Ruel in her commentary for the Center for Strategic and International Studies. With urbanization intensifying in Africa and Asia, projected population growth is expected to add 2.8 billion urban residents by 2050. The unique features and drivers of urban food insecurity and unhealthy diets and the vast inequalities within urban areas require tailored policies and programmes to tackle the needs of the urban poor. These must include leveraging food systems to increase availability, access, and affordability of nutritious foods for consumption by the urban poor; the tailoring and targeting of social safety nets and education campaigns; and addressing the lack of access of poor urban dwellers to health care, water, sanitation, waste removal, and electricity services.


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