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Food Security in Near East and North Africa


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Dr. A.O. Ahmed, Near East and North Africa, FAO

Dr. A.O. Ahmed, Near East and North Africa, FAO

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  • Messages : Poverty is at the root of the hunger problem. High prevalence of hunger is associated with desperately low per capita incomes. As incomes improve prevalence of hunger drops fast. The propensity to consume more with increasing incomes is very strong Even in richer countries there is hunger. In all cases it is not the lack of supplies at the global level responsible for hunger. There has always been enough food globally but poor people cannot gain economic access to it. They lack income. Poverty is at the root of problem!
  • Messages : A recent FAO study presented at Copenhagen looked into across a range of ag. practices and their impacts on food security and adaptation to climate change (through increasing ag. productivity and resilience) climate change mitigation (through impacts on carbon sequestration in soils, plants and trees as well as emission reductions). The study found that there are many opportunities for realizing synergies between adaptation, mitigation and food security but we need a policy and investment framework that can recognize and value cross-sectoral benefits to realize them. Expansion of marginal lands illustrates that there are some actions that can be considered to generate short run benefits to food security, but tradeoffs with mitigation (and actually a whole range of environmental impacts) in both the short and long run.  Even expansion of high-energy intensive agriculture is not sustainable in the long run either which means that policies for ag. in the 21st century need to be looking beyond short run gains - to the long run sustainability -and a key issue is providing farmers with incentives/support to assume short run costs (in the form of opportunity and/or investment costs) in order to adopt systems that have long term sustainability.
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    • 1. Abdessalam OuldAhmed,Abdessalam OuldAhmed,FAO Assistant Director General andFAO Assistant Director General andRegional RepresentativeRegional RepresentativeNear East and North Africa RegionalNear East and North Africa RegionalOffice, Cairo, EgyptOffice, Cairo, EgyptJune 25, 2013June 25, 2013Food Security in the Near East and North Africa:Food Security in the Near East and North Africa:Situation, Challenges and Strategic OptionsSituation, Challenges and Strategic Options
    • 2. OutlineI. Situation of food insecurity at the global level and Recent Developments:changing trends in global food prices and suppliesII. Situation of food insecurity in the Near East and North Africa (NENA) Major challenges facing food security in the Near East and North Africa (NENA)I. How the World is responding?I. What needs to be done?
    • 3. OutlineSituation of food insecurity at the global level
    • 4. High levels of undernourishment in the World With almost 870 million people chronically undernourished in 2010–12,the number of hungry people in the world is unacceptably high. The vast majority, more than 850 million, live in developing countries
    • 5. MDG-1 hunger target More progress in reducing hunger in developing world than previously thought. MDG target within reach, only if adequate and appropriate actions to reverseslowdown after 2006.
    • 6. … poverty at the root of the problemAdequacy of global supplynot the problem
    • 7. OutlineRecent Developments: changing trends in global foodprices and supplies
    • 8. Global food price trend 1990-2011
    • 9. Food requirement and sources: What isexpected by 2050 Food demand to increase by 70 % cereal demand up by 1 billion tonnes meat demand up by 200 million tonnes these projections exclude biofuels Where will it come from? small increase in cultivated area 90 % from increased yields and croppingintensity improved seeds increased use of inputs (esp. water and fertilizer)
    • 10. Uneven progress: Africa, NearEast & NorthAfrica
    • 11. OutlineClimate Change, Water and Food Security Nexus
    • 12. Climate change, water and food security IPCC predicts: increase in temp., sea level,extreme weather and a decrease in precipitation Increased drought will Increase rural to urban migration Increase gap between rich and poor Fuel social tensions and strain public finances As a result, food security risks will increase,particularly in dry land countries
    • 13. Food SecurityPotentialCarbon MitigationPotentialFood Security Potential : HighCarbon Mitigation Potential: Low•Expand crop onto marginal lands•Expand high energy -intensive irrigationFood Security Potential : LowCarbon Mitigation Potential: Low• Bare fallow• Continuous cropping without use if nutrients• Over-grazingFood Security Potential : HighCarbon Mitigation Potential: High•Restore degraded land•Expand low energy-intensive irrigation•Soil & water conservation structures/techniques•Agro-forestry options that increase food orincomesFood Security Potential : LowCarbon Mitigation Potential: High•Reforestation/afforestation•Restore organic soils•Agro-forestry options with limited food orincome benefitsSynergies/tradeoffs between food security andCC mitigationSource: Food Security and Agricultural Mitigation in Developing Countries: Options for Capturing Synergies, FAO 2009
    • 14. OutlineLevels of food insecurity in the Near East and NorthAfrica (NENA)
    • 15. Countries in the Near East differ widely in terms oftheir natural and human resources and economicdevelopment, but they face common challenges inagriculture and food security:Dry land environment with Limited and fragile natural resource base,particularly water: per capita renewable water per annum is estimated at 700cubic meters compared with a World average of 6,400 cubic metersHigh Population growth and in the region: average population growth ratein the region is estimated at 2.2 percent per annum, which is among thehighest in the WorldFrequent incidence of natural disasters (drought, desertification, desertlocust, floods) and their aggravation by climate changeMajor Structural Challenges Facing theNear East and North Africa
    • 16. Some of the key drivers of food insecurity in the region Poverty is at the core of the food security problem in the region. Thepoor spend anywhere from 35 to 65 percent of their income on food.Food security is predominantly an access issue rather than availabilityin the market Inequality: The poorest quintile of the region’s population claim lessthan 8% of national income Conflicts and civil unrest – continue to pose challenges to farming andrelated activities in Yemen, Iraq, Palestine, Syria and Sudan; civiliandisplacement and loss of productive assets increases vulnerability tofood insecurity Unemployment rates are high; especially among youth, and manypeople depend on informal jobs
    • 17. As a result, dependence of the region on foodimports is high and is projected to increase over timeImports040,00080,000120,000160,0002000 2010 2020 2030000MTofcereal(includingfeed)DemandDomestic supplySource: Adapted from IFPRI, 2008Dependence on cereal imports will increase
    • 18. Near East and North Africa countries are highlydependent on food importsCereal Net Imports/Exports (Million Metric Tons), by Region, 2010Cereal Net Imports/Exports (Million Metric Tons), by Region, 2010Cereal Net Imports/Exports (Million Metric Tons), by Region, 2010Cereal Net Imports/Exports (Million Metric Tons), by Region, 2010-76NENARegion-60+ 20+ 20-6-20+18+101+101+23+23
    • 19. Cereal Productivity in NENA Lags BehindWorld Averages
    • 20. OutlineWhat needs to be done?
    • 21. 11112222 enhancing domestic food sources3333 enhancing markets and managing their volatilityCountries need to consider how they can combinethese three pillars to create a comprehensive andintegrated strategyAddressing Food Security in NENAstrengthening safety nets, providing people withaccess to resources, markets and familyplanning services, and promoting educationA food security strategy forthe region restson three pillars:
    • 22. The three pillar to address food security3.ManagingMarketVolatility1111AddressingDemand2222EnhancingSupply3333ManagingMarketVolatility040,00080,000120,000160,0002000 2010 2020 2030000MTofcereal(incl.feed)1. Address Demand2. Enhance domestic supplySource: Adapted from WB/FAO/IFAD, 2009
    • 23. The first pillar strengthens safety nets and promotes greateraccess to family planning services and educationThe First PillarThe First PillarThe First PillarThe First PillarImprove the targeting of safety netsMake safety nets scalableEmploy cash transfers rather than in-kindsubsidiesStrengthen program coordination andenhance payment mechanismsEnsure sufficient resources are allocated toeducation and to family planning servicesEducate families about the benefits of a well-balanced diet to sustain long-term healthbenefitsFortify staple foods with essential vitaminsand minerals1111Stronger safety nets are critical toprotect those in needGreater access to education hashealth benefits and reduces cerealdemand
    • 24. The second pillar enhances domestic food supplies byinvesting in research and development and rural livelihoodsThe Second PillarThe Second PillarThe Second PillarThe Second Pillar2222Supply ConsiderationsSupply ConsiderationsProductivity gains reduce price risk and are the criticalcounterweight to increasing food demandInvestment needs to be targeted to ensure water is put to itshighest value useResearch and development can lead to new technologies thatwill drive up productivityInvestments in rural livelihoods will help rural communitiesmake the most of their resources
    • 25. The third pillar reduces exposure to market volatility byimproving supply chains and using financial instrumentsThe Third PillarThe Third PillarThe Third PillarThe Third Pillar3333Invest in infrastructure- Fixed infrastructure such as silos androads- Mobile infrastructure such as boats andtrucks- Intellectual infrastructure such as patentsand ITReduce food lossesCreate bonded warehousesPartner with key suppliersFutures: Especially attractive to oil-richcountries with access to creditOptions: Provide greater flexibility thanfuturesSwaps and loans: World Bank offersclients commodity swaps and structurescommodity-linked loansImproving supply chains can reducemarketing and transportation costsas well as quantity risksEffective use of diverse financialinstruments can reduce exposure toprice risk
    • 26. OutlineHow the World is responding?
    • 27. Food Security: Global GoalsEradicating hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity is top onglobal agenda: MDG1; FAO Food Security Summits; G8Summit at L’Aquila; G-20 Summit in Seoul 2010; meeting ofAgriculture Ministers in Paris, June 2011; Rio +20; discussionson post 2015 development agenda, etc.
    • 28. OutlineHow FAO is responding to the recent development infoo security challenges?
    • 29. FAO New Strategic Framework Upgrading goal: eradicating hunger Approach: an integrated approach to nutrition, foodsecurity and sustainable natural resource management,taking full account of the impact of climate change Objectives: five cross-cutting strategic objectives Objective 2 (SO2) calls for “increasing and improvingprovision of goods and services from agriculture,forestry and fisheries in a sustainable manner”
    • 30. • Addressing malnutrition requires a multi-sectoral approach that includescomplementary interventions in food systems, public health and education• Agricultural growth is particularly effective in reducing hunger and malnutritionand that economic and agricultural growth should be “nutrition-sensitive”• Investing in agriculture is one of the most effective strategies for reducingpoverty and hunger and promoting sustainability• Social protection is crucial for accelerating hunger reduction• Closing the gender gap in agriculture would generate significant gains for theagriculture sector and for society• Addressing the structural imbalance between food production and consumption• To accelerate hunger reduction, decisive public action is needed:• Political commitment,• Institutions, Institutions, Institutions …Global Food Security: Some Key LessonsLearned from the Past