The Urban Agenda: Meeting the Food and Nutrition Security Needs of the Urban Poor
The world is at an unprecedented point in the sustainable development journey. For the first time in history, extreme poverty, those living on less than $1.90 per day, has fallen below 10%. However, two years after the global commitments were adopted in New York, and after years of steady decline, world hunger appears to be on the rise. The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017 reports that 815 million are undernourished, up from 777 million in 2015. The SOFI report puts the spotlight on the convergence between conflicts, climate change and food security. The global impact of these factors has contributed to increased migration into cities by people seeking safety and services.
Urbanization is expected to put increased pressure on global food systems. At the same time as the world's cities expand, they are becoming home to larger numbers of malnourished people, particularly women and infants. The world's poorest remain vulnerable to undernutrition. The triple burden of malnutrition is increasingly becoming visible in the urban poor, where high rates of child undernutrition coexist with adult overweight and anemia. Malnutrition continues to be one of the main barriers that prevent children, communities and societies from realizing their full potential. In 2016, the New Urban Agenda was adopted. The set of non-binding principles and commitments will guide the efforts around urban development through to 2036. However, many questions still remain. Can the urban agenda play a bigger role in reversing this alarming trend in food and nutrition insecurity, and more pressing, how? This paper aims to explore these questions.