Food security: definition and drivers


                                                 Download: Food security - definitions and drivers.pdf

‘‘Food security, at the individual, household, national, regional and global levels [is achieved] when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.’’ (Rome Declaration on World Food Security and World Food Summit Plan of Action)

Food security is a concept that englobes four main dimensions:

  1. ·Availability in sufficient quantity of food of an appropriate nature and quality in all parts of the national territory, irrespective of its origin (local production, imports or food aid)

  2. ·Access by all people to the resources required to be able to acquire the food needed by them for an nutritionally adequate diet. These resources include not only financial resources, but also rights of access to the resources required to produce food or to receive it from others

  3. ·Stability of access to food, i.e. the assurance of access by people to food even in the face of natural or economic shocks

  4. ·A satisfactory utilisation of food by people that is not inhibited by health or hygiene problems (safe drinking water, sanitation or medical services, etc.).

For an individual to be in a situation of food security, all these conditions must be respected simultaneously. [more details on the concept of food security and related definitions]

Caution: do not mix up food security with food safety!

What determines the evolution of the food security situation

What are the drivers?

This can be looked at from two points of view:

  1. The historical point of view. What explains the evolution of hunger in the world over the last 40 years? [Read more on the historical drivers of food security]

  2. The conceptual point of view by reviewing each of the four dimensions of food security and the drivers that affect them:

  3. -Availability     

  4. -Access           

  5. -Stability          

  6. -Utilisation     [Read more on drivers from the conceptual point of view]

The concept of nutrition security complements the concept of food security by adding a health dimension that encompasses the availability of health services and the knowledge of good food preparation and eating practices required for the health of their family members and indispensable for achieving their full development potential. Nutrition security also implies eliminating any major deficits in minerals and vitamins which often affect the same people who suffer from food deprivation.

Read more on:

  1. -Definitions    

  2. -Historical drivers          

  3. -Drivers from the conceptual point of view

Also see: Food security and sustainability: should we add a sustainability dimension to food security?

Download here a pdf file with more détails on the concept and drivers of food security: Food security - definitions and drivers.pdf

Last update:    January 2020

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