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The role of local government in urban food security

Urban food security is an increasingly urgent priority in the face of climate change, rising food prices and growing urban populations. Most at risk are residents of low-income settlements within low- and middle-income countries. Increasing food production within urban areas has limited potential, but urban planning can play a major role by providing effective transport links, food storage facilities, adequate water and sanitation infrastructure and waste management. Local governments’ support to community-led initiatives to improve food access and safety can greatly reduce food insecurity, and contribute to greater resilience to the impacts of 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