The importance of food security
The world produces enough food for everyone to eat, but many people around the world still go hungry. There are three major factors leading to food and nutrition insecurity:
- Poverty prohibits people from buying food to feed themselves and their families
- Climate change affects food production, especially for small-scale farmers
- Food waste and losses contribute to hunger
When food is scarce, women are the first to go short, or even go without as they prioritize their families. Equally, women are often vital agents of change in terms of tackling food insecurity. At CARE International, we know that women small-scale farmers are critical to global food production but lack access to the same resources as their male counterparts. We focus on supporting women farmers so that they can feed the world.
What is CARE International doing to increase food security?
In the face of rising food insecurity, CARE International is working in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities to ensure that no one dies from hunger or suffers chronic malnutrition.
We work to help people find sustainable ways to make sure they know where their next meal is coming from and support long-term methods of reducing their vulnerability to hunger and malnutrition. This includes supporting farming households to ensure local markets are well stocked, managing natural resources so that they are less at risk from the effects of climate change, and strengthening livelihoods so that people can purchase food.
The gender transformative approach of the Win-Win project in Burundi, for example, led to increases in rice production, food security, and incomes, as well as successfully challenging community attitudes around gender-based violence.
Adapting the EKATA (gender-transformative Empowerment through Knowledge and Transformative Action) model from CARE’s work in Bangladesh, women’s solidarity groups and community dialogue helped women access the support they need to change discriminatory social and gender norms. The approach produced a $5 return for every $1 invested compared to a $3 return for every $1 spent.
Working with 4 local partners, DBI EAN, ENPHO, NTAG, and VDRC as part of a consortium working in 42 of Nepal’s 77 Districts, Suaahara II in Nepal contributed to reducing food insecurity by 12.5%, increasing food security for 1.6 million people.
The project successfully scaled up a health mapping tool at the national level through Self-Applied Technique for Quality Health (SATH), as well as Community Health Score Boards (CHSB) that promote social accountability.