Food security and nutrition

Food security and nutrition

The number of people around the world affected by severe food insecurity has risen to an estimated 923 million in 2021 (FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO. 2022). There is a direct correlation between food insecurity of families and undernourishment in children.

The various forms of undernourishment over the course of a person’s life are connected and affect women (mothers, pregnant women, breastfeeding women) and children in particular. Insufficient and unsuitable food is not only linked to hunger and direct health consequences, but also hampers progress in many areas of development, such as education and employment. The many factors that lead to food insecurity and malnutrition include conflict, political instability or unrest, economic shocks, inequality, unstable food systems, extreme weather conditions, climate change and the increase in pest plagues (armyworm, locusts) that threaten harvests. These factors affect most of the countries in which Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe operates.

The COVID-19 pandemic has already triggered a global economic crisis and has also negative effects on local economies and markets. The sections of the population most in need of protection are the most badly affected.

Our objective

  • The integrated programmes for food security we deliver together with our partner organisations help to strengthen the resilience of the population groups affected so that they are better able to cope with crises.
  • In acute humanitarian emergencies, our assistance may involve directly supplying food. Access to a safe and balanced diet prevents potentially life-threatening deterioration to a person’s nutritional status.
  • We want to preserve livelihoods and create the conditions in which people can become self-reliant again. This can be achieved through in-kind assistance, cash, vouchers and/or support for local markets.
  • In the medium term, we combine these measures with programmes that support people in building a livelihood, thereby leading to more lasting solutions.