The Challenges of Food Insecurity: Ensuring people have enough today… and tomorrow

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The challenges of food insecurity

The world is in the midst of a global food crisis with projections showing that as many as 670 million people will still face hunger by 2030. Shocks from climate change, a global water crisis, loss of biodiversity, and other challenges continue to weaken food security and force more people into hunger.  

The challenges of food insecurityAnd while the current approach of responding to food crises through short-term measures – coupled with resilience building efforts – makes a difference, it is not sufficient to fully address all underlying factors causing the crisis. It is critical to transform global food systems so that they are conducive to healthy and resilient people, planet, and economies. 

The World Bank is taking a multi-pronged approach to these challenges, supporting production and producers, increasing trade in food and agriculture inputs, supporting vulnerable households, and investing in sustainable food and nutrition to help countries not simply address food-related emergencies, but create sustainable solutions so that the next emergency is avoided.

Coping with Emergency in the Central African Republic

Tatiana Komanda is a farmer in the Central African Republic (CAR). She spends her days preparing food for her family, tending to her fields and household gardens, and selling her produce at the local market.

“When I was at my parents’ house, they taught me how to farm. I grew up with this practice and, once married, I continue it with my husband.”

This practice has served Komanda well and today she is able to support her family and – most critically for her – send her children to school.

“The money I receive from the sale of my products allows my children to move forward in life. For example, I can pay for school and clothes. I can buy them shoes. I am happy with my life – I am happy to see that my children are studying.”

But it hasn’t always been like this. In previous years, Komanda had difficulties securing enough food to even feed her family, let alone sell extra produce at the market.

For many around Komanda, life remains difficult.

The Central African Republic, a landlocked nation in the heart of Africa, is one of the poorest and most fragile countries in the world. Of the 6.1 million people living there, more than 4.5 million (75%) depend on agriculture. Despite the importance of this sector, the country is plagued by food insecurity, with estimates showing that approximately 2 million people will face high levels of food insecurity between September 2023 and April 2024.

The challenges people face every day in CAR were intensified by the invasion of Ukraine last year, which provides crucial grain supplies to countries across Africa. Meanwhile, the ongoing climate crisis continues to threaten long-term agricultural prospects in the country. The increasing severity of droughts and floods that CAR has experienced in recent years means a staggering 75% of the population will soon be vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Food security has tipped to the point of emergency.

“Before, our life was difficult. Even finding food was difficult,” says Komanda, who vividly remembers her struggles with food insecurity in the past.

The World Bank continues to work with CAR’s government to ensure people have enough food to feed the country today as well as the skills and equipment to move beyond subsistence farming, as Komanda did.

The Central African Republic Emergency Food Crisis Response Project is helping farmers like Komanda increase food production, while improving resilience of smallholder farmers and households who are facing food insecurity through the provision of agricultural assets and services, including crops, livestock, processing equipment, extension services and training. More than 3,200 tons of inputs have already helped nearly 36,000 farmers increase their crop production by 125% – boosting yields and preventing against future food shocks.

Source: www.worldbank.org

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