Food security bleak, says NGO report

The outlook for food security in the Middle East is not hopeful, but growing pressure may start to force policy change across the region, according to the International Food Policy Research Institute.

Food security bleak, says NGO report

World Bulletin / News Desk

Ifpri’s recently-published 2016 Global Food Policy Report unsurprisingly identified the ongoing conflicts in countries such as Syria and Yemen, and the resulting humanitarian crises, as the Middle East’s main source of food insecurity. But it also noted that food policy in richer Arab countries needed reform, particularly to combat malnutrition and obesity.

Growing costs of inaction

“The outlook for the Arab region for 2016 is not much improved, particularly if conflict persists. However, there is hope that the mounting evidence of the costs of inaction will sway decision-makers to support policy reforms to improve governance, fight corruption, and increase the competitiveness of Arab economies,” the report’s authors wrote. 

“Outside of conflict areas, following the model of the emerging success in Egypt, governments should focus on ending harmful subsidies and strengthening safety nets in order to improve nutrition for the truly poor and food insecure, including addressing the double burden of malnutrition,” they added. 

The report said the region needs good data and information to allow better decision-making, and effective tools and demonstrable solutions may even help shorten conflicts. Ifpri itself, in conjunction with partners, operates the Arab Spatial tool, designed to help policy-makers analyse food and nutrition security across the Middle East and North Africa. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Haziran 2016, 14:46