CPAReport Winter 2010
Achieving food security continues to be a challenge for developing nations - especially for those living in rural Africa.
Food security; a situation in which 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 healthy life; is affected by a complexity of factors. These factors include unstable social and political environments that preclude sustainable economic growth, war and civil strife, macroeconomic imbalances in trade, natural resource constraints, a poor human resource base, gender inequality, inadequate access to education, poor health and natural disasters such as floods.
All of these factors contribute to either insufficient national food availability or insufficient access to food by households and individuals.
The root cause of food insecurity in developing countries is the inability of people to gain access to food due to poverty. This crisis is especially prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, and in the countries in which CPAR works (Malawi, Uganda, Ethiopia and Tanzania).
Many factors underpin this, including the impact of HIV&AIDS and other illnesses (such as malaria) on rural farming households; civil war, frequent drought and unpredictable rainfall; and a fragile yet large agricultural base of small-scale farming, which is dependent on a stable climate.
We cannot begin to tackle food security without ensuring that rural African communities are also nutritionally secure.