Global Food Security Program
Global food security had been deteriorating for several years prior to 2020, and Covid-19 revealed system-wide vulnerabilities. Reversing today’s trends in food insecurity requires renewed commitment, creative thinking, and bold action across sectors.
The CSIS Global Food Security Program (GFSP) is committed to reinvigorating U.S. leadership on food security, using the latest data to define the nature of today’s challenges, and proposing policy solutions that maximize the impact of U.S. investments at home and abroad.
GFSP works independently and through partnerships to provide research, analysis, and policy recommendations on a variety of topics that can effectively enhance global food security. Our priorities evolve, mirroring the changing nature of food security challenges. Today, GFSP focuses on several key issues imperative to enhancing food security in the United States and globally.
Climate Change: Food systems are responsible for over one-third of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while the livelihoods of producers—farmers, herders, foresters, and fishers—are increasingly threatened by climate change. GFSP examines the relationship of climate change and food security to migration and conflict and proposes solutions for producers to reduce GHG emissions and adapt a changing climate.
Equity in U.S. Food Systems: A perennial leader in global food security policy and programming, the United States is in the spotlight for inequities in its domestic food systems. Remaining a global leader will require U.S. food systems that reduce disproportionate rates of malnutrition among people of color, women, military families, and other communities. GFSP analyzes the latest data and proposes policies to improve food security among our country’s most food-insecure populations.
Nutrition: Forty percent of the world’s population cannot afford the cheapest version of a healthy diet. Poor diets are linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, posing a major threat to global wellbeing, while inadequate nutrition during the first 1,000 days of life limits human and economic development. GFSP examines these challenges and proposes ways to increase production and consumption of nutritious foods in the United States and worldwide.
Urbanization: GFSP confronts a longtime blind spot of the global food security community: the urban poor, a rapidly growing segment of the world’s food-insecure population. As urbanization progresses fastest in Africa and Asia, with cities hit hardest by Covid-19, GFSP examines the nature of food insecurity among the urban poor and offers solutions tailored to their unique challenges.
Water: Seventy percent of the world’s freshwater is used for agriculture. Improving water-use efficiency is necessary to increase global agricultural productivity, while water for agriculture is at the heart of international disputes over water rights. GFSP aims to bring coherence to U.S. approaches to food and water security, including at the household level, where food and water security go hand in hand.
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