The Food Security Crisis

Food security exists “when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life,” a definition from the 2005 World Food Summit.

In 2012, food insecurity is still a major global concern as almost 1 billion people are suffering from starvation, under-nutrition and malnutrition. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has concluded that we are still far from reaching millennium development goal (MDG) number 1: to halve extreme poverty and hunger by 2015. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the number of people suffering from hunger is estimated at 239 million, and this figure could increase in the near future.

Of the total of underfed people in the world, at least one-fourth live in Africa. This is the only continent where agricultural production per capita has been decreasing for the past 30 years; it is also the continent where agriculture has suffered most from erroneous or inappropriate policies. Between 1970 and 1997, armed conflicts caused losses of agricultural production estimated at about US$52 billion – that is the equivalent of 75% of the total public aid received during the same period.

‘Millions of people in the Horn of Africa are undernourished and at risk of famine. They suffer from drought, conflict, a weak infrastructure and a limited livelihood base. But if the people and governments of the region are committed to working together, along with international non-governmental organizations, they should be able to take far-reaching measures that ensure long-term food security.’ – United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Food Security at a Glance in CPAR Program Countries vs. North America