By Erica Martin
It’s often assumed that in the modern era, food security is an achievable goal. But between 2007 and 2008, a confluence of conditions shook the international food system to its core, fueling unrest and riots in more than 40 nations around the world. What’s more, this “perfect storm” may have been only a harbinger of challenges to come, according to a new report by Emmy Simmons of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
“Recurring storms” are likely in the coming years due to ongoing instability in many regions, changing weather patterns, the “double burden” of malnutrition, youthful demographics, food safety issues, and food price volatility, writes Simmons.
The L’Aquila Initiative, a short-lived international response to the 2008 crisis, offers lessons for how to address these underlying trends to improve resilience, but also revealed how difficult the task is.
“Even when national leaders are committed to pursuing market-based, inclusive agricultural growth as a clear pathway to improved food security, and there is relative peace and stability, many risks and uncertainties – storm clouds – loom on the horizon,” writes Simmons.