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Tracking Food Security in the Arab Region: Executive Summary

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The Executive summary on “Tracking Food Security in the Arab Region,” provides information on applying the Food security Monitoring Framework developed by ESCWA in collaboration with member countries, the Arab Organization for Agriculture Development (AOAD), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Arab experts and supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida). The framework captures the complex, multidimensional and interactive nature of food security to identify its outcome through 3 core indicators and its causal factors through 21 indicators distributed along the four food security dimensions, i.e., availability, access, utilization and stability.

The summary outlines the development of the monitoring framework including the process and rational for selecting all indicators and the presentation of monitoring results through a doughnut chart and table containing data series and trends. It provides as well key results following the application of the framework to track food security at the Arab regional and sub-regional levels. Among others, it highlights that high- and middle-income Arab countries are concerned with consequences resulting from rising overnutrition levels while low-income countries are concerned with the continuing high rates of undernutrition and food insecurity experience. It identifies hotspots needing immediate action that include low yields, high food import dependency, high prevalence of anemia among women and rising political instability though for low income countries a majority of indicators show low performance requiring urgent comprehensive development plans.