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Food security in the context of Vietnam’s rural – urban linkages and climate change

Despite its modest contribution to climate change, Vietnam is expected to be heavily affected by its impacts. Although at the national level the country is self-sufficient in rice, the main staple, and one of its main global exporters, environmental change has a disproportionate impact on the food security of the most vulnerable groups, thus slowing Vietnam’s progress in poverty reduction. Environmental conditions have also become an important contributing factor in migration. Stronger rural-urban links, including the development of small town that ensure access to urban markets, often through small-scale traders, and remittances from migrants to the cities, contribute to food security by supporting both production and access. However, high food prices have affected the growing number of net food buyers in both rural and urban areas, and the financial crisis has reduced migrants’ ability to send money home. This suggests that food security in Vietnam should be seen as a key element of development and adaptation to climate change.

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Low and irregular incomes are the root cause of urban food insecurity, but inadequate housing and basic infrastructure and limited access to services contribute to levels of malnutrition and food insecurity that are often as high if not higher than in rural areas.

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Urban food security and consumption