Recommit to Refugees: What is Food Security?


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Learn more about i-ACT’s Restore2100 campaign here.

The refugees living in Chad are not alone in this suffering. Food insecurity is a devastating reality for countless people around the world. Why is this occurring? Who is to blame? How will this affect the refugees? How can this be changed?

These questions will be explored through a series of blogs collectively titled Recommit to Refugees. I will be discussing the global crisis related to feeding the displaced people of the world. My first blog will briefly outline the meaning of food security.

What is food security? The World Health Organization (WHO) describes food security as “when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.” According to the WHO, there are three questions to ask in determining food insecurity: Is food accessible? Is it obtainable? Is food being used properly? Those who are food insecure are living in hunger or fear of hunger. Refugees living in countries such as Chad, Syria, Yemen, and many others, are severely food insecure. These refugees do not meet the following food security criteria determined by the WHO:

  1. Food availability: having a consistent and adequate amount of food available.

  2. Food access: having sufficient resources to access suitable foods for a nutritious diet.

  3. Food use: appropriate use of food derived from a knowledge of basic nutrition and care, as well as adequate water and sanitation to prepare food and maintain proper hygiene.

For Further Reading: World Health Organization 2015 Food insecurity report by Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, an interactive Hunger Map:


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