Global Food and Water Security Alerts

Future Directions –

Projections from the United States Department of Agriculture suggest that higher incomes and lower food prices are likely to contribute to an improved food security outlook for 76 low- and middle-income countries over the next decade. The number of food insecure people living in those countries is projected to decline from 782 million to 399 million over that time. That would leave less than ten per cent of the global population suffering from food insecurity.

There are limitations to the assessment, however, as it does not take adverse events such as unfavourable weather conditions, conflict or political and economic instability into account. It only focuses on food availability and access, which is determined by estimating future food production, trade and income levels. It does not consider the quality or stability of access to food. Its projections are, therefore, susceptible to unexpected (“black swan”) events.

While considerable attention has been given to the quantity or availability of water, relatively little thought has been given to the quality of water in determining global water security. This World Bank report suggests that both high- and low-income countries face water quality challenges. Those challenges are expected to become more apparent with the intensification of agriculture, industrial development and increasingly variable climatic conditions.

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