Paper: the urban agenda - meeting the food and nutrition security needs of the urban poor

Paper: the urban agenda - meeting the food and nutrition security needs of the urban poor

The world is at an unprecedented point in the sustainable development journey. For the first time in history, the number of people living in extreme poverty, those living on less than US$1.90 per day, has fallen below 10% of the world's population. However, two years after Sustainable Development Agenda was adopted in New York, and after years of steady decline, world hunger appears to be on the rise: The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017, reports that 815 million people were undernourished, up from 777 million people in 2015.

Today SNV publishes a report that explores the malnutrition situation in the urban environment and explores interventions that can be used to address it.

Urbanisation is expected to put an increased pressure on the global food systems. As the world’s cities expand, they are becoming home to an increasing number of malnourished people, particularly women and infants. These groups remain vulnerable to malnourishment and the triple burden of malnutrition is increasingly becoming visible amongst the urban poor. High rates of undernutrition in children co-exist with being overweight or obese and anaemia in adults. This situation continues to be one of the main barriers that prevents children, communities and societies from realising their full potential.

Over a year ago, in October 2016, the New Urban Agenda was adopted. The set of non-binding principles and commitments will guide the efforts around urban development through to 2036. Yet, many questions remain: can the urban agenda play a role in reversing the alarming trend in food and nutrition insecurity? What are the main causes malnutrition and constraints for  people to improve their nutrition status? And more pressing, how can we addres these?

The paper that we publish today explores these and other questions.