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Food Security

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The availability of and access to food requires resilient food systems and value chains.

Food security is directly influenced by climate variability and, increasingly, by climate change. Periods of heavy rainfall, for example, can reduce crop yields and destroy critical infrastructure. Although some countries have established early warning systems to predict and prepare for periods of food insecurity caused by such events, overall, their current policies and measures tend to be reactive rather than preventative. This reactive approach is the result of limited knowledge about the underlying factors that enable food systems and communities to absorb climate shocks and stresses without undergoing emergency situations. For food systems and communities to be truly food secure and climate resilient, we require both a better understanding of these underlying factors and new ways to monitor how they change over time.

We seek to improve climate resilience and food security through an understanding of the factors that influence the resilience of food systems to climate shocks and stresses. Our experts develop practical indicators to monitor such factors at both the community and national levels. We also work with governments and communities to improve our understanding of how policies affect the climate resilience of food systems.

  • Policy Brief
    COVID-19 and Food Export Restrictions: Comparing today’s situation to the 2007/08 price spikes

    COVID-19 and Food Export Restrictions: Comparing today’s situation to the 2007/08 price spikes

    This policy brief draws on the International Food Policy Research Institute’s (IFPRI’s) COVID-19 Food Trade Policy Tracker to compare how governments have reacted to the current crisis with how they did during the 2007/08 food price spike.

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  • Policy Brief
    Could Food Export Restrictions Worsen a Looming Food Crisis?

    Could Food Export Restrictions Worsen a Looming Food Crisis?

    This policy brief draws on analysis in the International Food Policy Research Institute’s (IFPRI’s) COVID-19 Food Trade Policy Tracker to examine how food-importing countries could be affected by recent measures to restrict exports.

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  • Blog
    Solving Our Food Crisis Requires a Fundamental Transformation of the System

    Solving Our Food Crisis Requires a Fundamental Transformation of the System

    Global food supply is at an all-time high, yet so is hunger and malnutrition. The right policy changes can account for such complexity and set us on a sustainable path, but we must act now.

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  • Report
    Tomorrow Needs Us Today: IISD’s 2020-2025 Strategic Direction

    Tomorrow Needs Us Today: IISD’s 2020-2025 Strategic Direction

    We are guided by five core priorities—Climate, Resources, Economies, Act Together and Engage—which form our CREATE strategy, presented in this document.

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  • Commentary
    Foreign Investment in Decline: An opportunity for more responsible and sustainable food systems

    Foreign Investment in Decline: An opportunity for more responsible and sustainable food systems

    UNCTAD predicted last month that COVID-19 would cause a 40% drop in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2020. Developing regions will be the worst hit given their heavy reliance on extractive industries and global value chains, which have been impacted by the pandemic. A dramatic drop in FDI could worsen the situation and lead to a race to the bottom as low- and middle-income countries compete for dwindling levels of FDI in agriculture.

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  • Report
    Mapping Policy for Solar Irrigation Across the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus in India

    Mapping Policy for Solar Irrigation Across the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus in India

    How are India's off-grid solar pump policies affecting the water–energy–food nexus? This paper maps out impacts and the key policies that are driving them.

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  • Blog
    How Can Sustainability Standards Contribute to Empowering Women’s Food Security?

    How Can Sustainability Standards Contribute to Empowering Women’s Food Security?

    Food security is an intersectional issue and development organizations can use voluntary sustainability standards (VSSs) to contribute to empowering women’s food security in agriculture.

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  • Blog
    Why Financing Rural Infrastructure Is Crucial to Achieving Food Security

    Why Financing Rural Infrastructure Is Crucial to Achieving Food Security

    Financing infrastructure, including roads, storage and localized energy grids, will help provide food security for the millions of people living in hunger worldwide.

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  • Blog
    How IISD Is Contributing to Inclusive, Global Food Security

    How IISD Is Contributing to Inclusive, Global Food Security

    We are proud to announce the Canadian Food Security Policy Group (FSPG) recently confirmed IISD as an associate member.

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  • Blog
    Contract Farming: Challenges and a new tool for success

    Contract Farming: Challenges and a new tool for success

    IISD and FAO have developed a Model Agreement for Responsible Contract Farming to help farmers and responsible buyers address the shortcomings of contract farming.

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