CitiSignals

Top urban news, trends and reports curated for the world’s city leaders. Edited by David Hatch

Food security challenges for developing cities

In many African cities, 70 percent of the calories consumed by the urban poor are from street food. (Hendrik Terbeck/flickr/cc)

The meteoric pace of urbanization in Africa and Asia, combined with the environmental impacts of climate change, are creating food insecurity for slum dwellers. Consequences include unhealthy diets and malnutrition, William Garvelink reports for Devex, a site focused on international development. Ambassador Garvelink is senior advisor for global strategy at the International Medical Corps.

As more land is lost to farming, food prices creep upward, prompting the poor in sub-Saharan Africa to scale back purchases of fruit, vegetables and meat. Instead, they gravitate to cheaper platters of street food that are less healthy and often unsanitary. “In many African cities, 70 percent of the calories consumed by the urban poor are from street food,” he writes.

In an online essay, Bindu N. Lohani, VP for knowledge management and sustainable development at the Asian Development Bank, discusses food security in Asian cities. By 2025, more than 400 million people will reside in flood-prone cities across Asia, an increase of 100 million over today, he writes. “Agricultural crop yields will fall and food prices will climb — with every 10 percent rise pushing another 64 million Asians into poverty,” he warns. 

Source: 
Devex

More from Citiscope

Latest Commentary