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Recommit to Refugees: What is Food Security?


Approximately two billion people in the world are suffering because their food intake is not a daily guarantee. Food security is receptive to many influences such as rapid population growth, military conflicts, climate change, corruption, political instability, and extreme weather conditions. i-ACT advocates for social responsibility and the empowerment of individuals to support those affected by genocide, mass atrocities, and crimes against humanity. Currently, the team at i-ACT is seeking to explore the issue of food insecurity within the Darfuri refugee camps in eastern Chad. The rations there have been reduced from 2100 kilocalories per day to just 850. The refugees are severely food insecure.

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.


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