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

Small developing cities most at risk for ‘urban malnutrition’


Urban malnutrition is often missing from the menu of priorities for developing cities. The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) emphasizes in an online post that small cities in the Global South are particularly vulnerable. That’s because they often lack resources for long-term planning and access to healthy food supplies.

With many emerging nations heavily reliant on food imports, poor populations are increasingly susceptible to global swings in food prices, the article says. The situation forces residents of informal settlements to fall back on inexpensive bulk staples with limited nutritional value, such as white rice. “This issue is further complicated by climate change,” GAIN warns. “Making food systems more resilient must become a crucial component of urban food policy.”

There are some signs of progress. Hanoi, Dakar and Maputo were among more than 100 cities to sign the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact in 2015. Farms that surround Shanghai provide the megacity with more than half its vegetables, the article notes. Belo Horizonte, Brazil established “People’s Restaurants” that sell subsidized, nutritious meals to the poor.

GAIN urges municipal and national governments to incorporate food security and access into their policies. Learn more here about this international body committed to ending malnutrition. 


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