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The food price crisis and urban food (in)security

Marc Cohen, James L. Garrett

Working paper, 36 pages

In this paper, we argue that the disproportionate attention that policy solutions to the food price crisis give to rural dwellers is likely misplaced. Although in developing countries rural poverty is often deeper and more widespread than urban poverty, rural dwellers are often net producers of food, frequently of the very staples whose prices are rising. We outline the pathways of impact of food price rises on urban dwellers; highlight the evidence so far on how those impacts have played out during this crisis; and describe current policy responses and suggest how to improve them to better protect the urban poor in the short- and longer-term.

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Cohen, M. and J.L Garrett (2009) The food price crisis and urban food (in)security, Urbanization and emerging population issues working paper series No.2, IIED/UNFPA, London

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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

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