Adopting a Territorial Approach to Food Security and Nutrition Policy

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Food insecurity and malnutrition are major international concerns, especially in rural areas. At the global scale, they have received considerable attention and investment, but the results achieved so far have been mixed. Some countries have made progress at the national level, but still have many citizens who are food insecure, often concentrated in specific geographic areas. Food insecurity and poverty are highly interlinked and have a strong territorial dimension. To provide effective long-term solutions, policy responses must therefore be tailored to the specific challenges of each territory, taking into account a multidimensional response that includes food availability, access, utilisation and stability. This report highlights five case studies and the OECD New Rural Paradigm, presenting an effective framework for addressing food insecurity and malnutrition.


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Executive summary

To date, food security and nutrition (FSN) policies have been developed mainly through traditional, “top-down” approaches; that is, they are designed and implemented at the national level, often without sufficiently taking into account the priorities and needs of local stakeholders, and without involving them in the policy-making process. This lack of co-ordination and stakeholder engagement is exacerbated when policies are the result of project-based international co-operation efforts; the short timelines and narrowly targeted nature of such projects can lead to fragmented policy and programme interventions and generate local dependency on external aid. The need for a “bottom-up” approach – where different levels of government work together – is increasingly recognised by the countries covered in this report (Cambodia, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Morocco, Niger and Peru).

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