Food security and nutrition in an urbanising world

Food security and nutrition in an urbanising world

On 6 June 2017, The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)Welthungerhilfe and SNV jointly organised a one day event to explore the challenges and opportunities of urbanisation from different perspectives.

Hyper-urbanisation and its implications for food security and nutrition in urban and rural areas is an urgent concern that has gained increased attention over the years. Organised on the eve of the European Development Days, the workshop brought together over 100 multi-disciplinary participants from the public and private sector, non-governmental and civil society organisations, academia, and development institutions.

A broad spectrum of high-level speakers, including Roberto Ridolfi, Director Sustainable Growth and Development, DG DevCo European Commission and Gerda Verburg, United Nations Assistant Secretary General and Coordinator of SUN movement, discussed myths around urban food security, rethinking informal markets, innovations and investments in rural-urban linkages, and shared lessons learned from cases studies in Cambodia, Kenya, and Nepal.

The day concluded with a discussion between Till Wahnbaeck (Welthungerhilfe CEO), Andre de Jager (SNV Managing Director of Agriculture) and Shenggen Fan (IFPRI Director General). They called for increased partnership and greater commitment to openness to tackle the multidimensional food security and nutrition challenges associated with urbanisation. They recommended that priority actions include:

  1. investing in scaling up proven successes;

  2. strengthening accountability mechanisms to ensure that food systems are inclusive (particularly of women and youth), climate resilient, and business friendly; and

  3. improving communications with stakeholders, including mayors and city and regional planners.

A comprehensive report of the day, including presentations and videos of the discussions can be found on IFPRI's website.

A summary note of the event is also available.