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close this bookTackling Hunger in a World Full of Food: Tasks Ahead for Food Aid (WFP)
close this folder1. Food security: sustaining people
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentTimes of plenty do not rule out hunger
View the documentHumanitarian crises and acute hunger
View the documentHunger within the household
View the documentThe chronically poor and hungry
View the documentThe geography of hunger


Food security is about people
1.1 Food security is about people. It is about the access required by all people at all times to safe and nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life. It is about a life free of the risks of malnutrition or starvation.In this sense attention is needed both to long-term goals of raising agricultural productivity and world food supplies, and to the short-term problem of hundreds of millions of individuals who go hungry today. Hunger is not just a manifestation of poverty, it perpetuates poverty. The attainment of food security therefore involves eliminating current hunger and reducing the risks of future hunger, not just ensuring the supply of food at a global level.
1.2 This paper elaborates priorities for food aid in a world of persistent hunger and increasingly complex humanitarian emergencies. Targeted food aid is the premier resource for addressing the urgent needs of many millions of hungry people in food-deficit countries. That said, food aid is not the answer to all hunger in the world. Some conditions of hunger are more appropriately tackled through interventions based on the targeted delivery of cash or other resources.
1.3 The exact number of hungry people who are best served through targeted food aid remains to be determined with precision. Nevertheless, this paper does identify three categories of hunger as priority areas in which targeted food aid should play a principal role in coming years in helping households to attain food security. This new thinking is an elaboration of recent discussions within the governing body of the World Food Programme (WFP 1995a).