Politicians Play With Their Food When Deciding A Nation’s Future

Politicians Play With Their Food When Deciding A Nation’s Future.

Global food security continues to improve. Hunger has decreased: the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that the number of undernourished people has fallen by 176m over the past ten years. But almost 800m people—just over one in nine people—still remain hungry, and food security continues to be one of the major global challenges for the future. The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Food Security Index (GFSI) provides a common framework for understanding the root causes of food insecurity by looking at the dynamics of food systems around the world. It seeks to answer the central question: How food-secure is a country? Food security is a complex, multi- faceted issue influenced by culture, environment and geographic location. The index cannot capture intra-country nuances, but by distilling major food-security themes down to their core elements it provides a useful approach to understanding the risks to food security in countries, regions and around the world. By creating a common framework against which to benchmark a country’s food security, the GFSI has created a unique country-level food-security measurement tool that addresses the issues of affordability, availability and utilisation in 113 countries around the world. Overall global economic growth has led to improvements in the structural areas that are essential to improving people’s access to a wide range of affordable, nutritious foods, including more extensive food safety-net programmes, expanded food transport infrastructure and greater dietary diversity. Low-income countries have not yet reached this threshold. They often lack basic infrastructure, and smaller incomes inhibit access to and affordability of nutritious food. Political risk and corruption frequently compound structural difficulties in these countries. These issues are exacerbated by the risk of future climate change. The developing nations at the bottom of the GFSI are the countries that are most affected by weather- related loss events. Changing weather patterns, drought, increased rainfall and flooding will have a significant impact in the long term, potentially pushing up food prices and increasing production volatility. The World Bank estimates that, without any action on climate change, extreme weather events could lead to crop yield losses as high as 5% by 2030, which would drive up food prices.

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