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Food Security Strategies: Building Resilience Against Natural Disasters


  • Hartwig de Haen


A large and growing share of the world's poor lives under a double risk. They are food insecure and live in conditions in which high risk of natural hazards coincides with high vulnerability. As a result natural disasters hit the poor disproportionately. This article argues that in order to mitigate disaster impacts on poor population groups, development policy and disaster management need to become more mutually supportive. Focusing on food security, it is suggested that in disaster-prone locations, measures to improve disaster resilience should be an integral part of food security policies and strategies. A 'triple track strategy' is recommended. In addition to investments in productivity enhancement, primarily for the rural poor (track one) and social safety nets for the most needy (track two), such a strategy would entail cross-cutting investments in building resilience against disaster impacts and risk management. Practical areas requiring more attention include risk information and analysis; land use planning; upgrading physical infrastructures; diversification and risk transfer mechanisms. As agriculture is particularly vulnerable to disaster risk, protecting agricultural lands, water and assets, should get greater weight in development strategies and food security policies. There is evidence that the benefits of this approach could significantly outweigh the costs. Copyright (c) 2008 The Author. Journal compilation (c) The Agricultural Ecomomics Society and the European Association of Agricultural Economists 2008.

Suggested Citation

  • Hartwig de Haen, 2008. "Food Security Strategies: Building Resilience Against Natural Disasters," EuroChoices, The Agricultural Economics Society, vol. 7(3), pages 26-33, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:eurcho:v:7:y:2008:i:3:p:26-33

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