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Disentangling urban and rural food security in West Africa

Author

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  • Cornelia F.A. van Wesenbeeck

Abstract

Strategies to fight hunger and early warning systems often focus on identifying food crises rather than longer-term trends, and concentrate on rural areas. Data on the food and nutrition security situation of West Africa’s growing urban population is scarce and fragmented. Using geo-referenced information available in the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), this report estimates the total number and prevalence of under-nutrition and over-nutrition in West Africa for both urban and rural areas. The analysis reveals that almost 110 million people in West Africa are not receiving the correct nutrition for their needs. Over 58 million people in the region are underweight, 22 million of which live in cities. Another 52 million are either overweight or obese, the large majority of whom are adult urban dwellers. This situation reveals the severity of the “double burden” of under- and over-nutrition. It also calls for greater efforts to identify appropriate metrics to monitor food and nutrition security in urban areas.

Suggested Citation

  • Cornelia F.A. van Wesenbeeck, 2018. "Disentangling urban and rural food security in West Africa," West African Papers 15, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:swacaa:15-en
    DOI: 10.1787/e0c75266-en
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    Cited by:

    1. Sophie Bruin & Just Dengerink & Jasper Vliet, 2021. "Urbanisation as driver of food system transformation and opportunities for rural livelihoods," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 13(4), pages 781-798, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Early warning systems; Food security; Nutrition; obesity; Urban households;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
    • R28 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Government Policy

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