Food security = national security. The capacity of the food system to deliver healthy, safe, and affordable food into towns and cities will be a key factor for national governments seeking to manage the economic, political and human consequences of accelerated urbanization and migration within and across their borders.
Urban growth in food-insecure sub-Saharan Africa is skyrocketing at unprecedented rates. By 2020, 50-60% of Africa’s population will be living in big cities – mostly in slums. And in Asia, already-large cities are continuing to expand. Young people represent most of this growth; by 2030, 60% of the urban population will be under the age of 18. Globally, these trends will intensify pressure on economic, physical and social systems that are not designed or prepared to to accommodate the anticipated scale of migration and concentration of populations.
A corollary threat to national and food security is the unprecedented increase in the number of displaced persons world wide, especially in the Middle East and Africa. According to the UN, one in every 122 people world wide is now a refugee.