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Social Safety Nets and the Food Security Crisis

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Publication date
Number of Pages
Type of Publication:
Working Papers & Briefs
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Focus Topic:
Gender / Youth / Social Inclusion
Nutrition / Food Systems
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

The impact of soaring food prices on poor households can be dramatic, exacerbating food insecurity negatively impacting on nutrition and creating social tensions. Therefore, urgent and comprehensive responses are needed. In addition to meeting the immediate needs of vulnerable households, it is necessary to build long-term resilience to contribute to sustainable global food and nutrition security (UN HLTF 2008). The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that 80 percent of the world’s population lacks access to adequate social protection, and more than half lacks any coverage at all. In response to the food, fuel and financial crisis, the demand for social protection and safety net interventions has increased, as also recognised by the adoption of the UN Social Protection Floor Initiative (ILO-WHO 2009). In fact, social protection and safety net interventions are increasingly deemed important counter cyclical social policies that can minimize the effects of crises and food price volatility, as well as address current and future vulnerabilities.