Political Science > Agriculture & Food Policy

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Diogo Miguel Salgado Baptista, Mrs. Mai Farid, Dominique Fayad, Laurent Kemoe, Loic S Lanci, Ms. Pritha Mitra, Tara S Muehlschlegel, Cedric Okou, John A Spray, Kevin Tuitoek, and Ms. Filiz D Unsal

Climate change is intensifying food insecurity across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) with lasting adverse macroeconomic effects, especially on economic growth and poverty. Successive shocks from the war in Ukraine and COVID-19 pandemic have increased food prices and depressed incomes, raising the number of people suffering from high malnutrition and unable to meet basic food consumption needs by at least 30 percent to 123 million in 2022 or 12 percent of SSA’s population. Addressing the lack of resilience to climate change—that critically underlies food insecurity in SSA—will require careful policy prioritization against a backdrop of financing and capacity constraints. This paper presents some key considerations and examples of tradeoffs and complementarities across policies to address food insecurity. Key findings include (1) Fiscal policies focused on social assistance and efficient public infrastructure investment can improve poorer households’ access to affordable food, facilitate expansion of climate-resilient and green agricultural production, and support quicker recovery from adverse climate events; (2) Improving access to finance is key to stepping up private investment in agricultural resilience and productivity as well as improving the earning capacity and food purchasing power of poorer rural and urban households; and (3) Greater regional trade integration, complemented with resilient transport infrastructure, enables sales of one country’s bumper harvests to its neighbors’ facing shortages. The international community can help with financial assistance—especially for the above-mentioned social assistance and key infrastructure areas—capacity development, and facilitating transfers of technology and know-how.

Diogo Miguel Salgado Baptista, Mrs. Mai Farid, Dominique Fayad, Laurent Kemoe, Loic S Lanci, Ms. Pritha Mitra, Tara S Muehlschlegel, Cedric Okou, John A Spray, Kevin Tuitoek, and Ms. Filiz D Unsal
Climate change is intensifying food insecurity across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) with lasting adverse macroeconomic effects, especially on economic growth and poverty. Successive shocks from the war in Ukraine and COVID-19 pandemic have increased food prices and depressed incomes, raising the number of people suffering from high malnutrition and unable to meet basic food consumption needs by at least 30 percent to 123 million in 2022 or 12 percent of SSA’s population. Addressing the lack of resilience to climate change—that critically underlies food insecurity in SSA—will require careful policy prioritization against a backdrop of financing and capacity constraints. This paper presents some key considerations and examples of tradeoffs and complementarities across policies to address food insecurity. Key findings include (1) Fiscal policies focused on social assistance and efficient public infrastructure investment can improve poorer households’ access to affordable food, facilitate expansion of climate-resilient and green agricultural production, and support quicker recovery from adverse climate events; (2) Improving access to finance is key to stepping up private investment in agricultural resilience and productivity as well as improving the earning capacity and food purchasing power of poorer rural and urban households; and (3) Greater regional trade integration, complemented with resilient transport infrastructure, enables sales of one country’s bumper harvests to its neighbors’ facing shortages. The international community can help with financial assistance—especially for the above-mentioned social assistance and key infrastructure areas—capacity development, and facilitating transfers of technology and know-how.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Since reaching the HIPC Decision Point, the Somali authorities have shown remarkable commitment to agreed reforms under the ECF program, preserving economic stability despite lower revenues and substantial expenditure pressures due to the pandemic, drought, and the suspension of budget support by development partners when elections were delayed. Elections have now been held following over a year of delay, with new members of parliament sworn in on April 14, 2022, and a new President elected on May 15, 2022. The new President has been a longstanding advocate of IMF programs, having initiated the country’s HIPC process some years back. He has committed his administration to the ECF program benchmarks negotiated by the previous administration, and beyond that intends to deepen reforms particularly with respect to intergovernmental fiscal relations, governance, public finance management and domestic revenue mobilization. The immediate priority of the government is food security and mitigating the impact of the drought on vulnerable households, and in this regard a new Presidential Special Envoy for the Drought Response was appointed to advance and coordinate government efforts. In the medium term, efforts to boost sustainable and inclusive growth will be prioritized. The authorities aim to reduce the high incidence of poverty. 70 percent of the population are estimated to live on under $1.90 per day.

International Monetary Fund
The global policy agenda that follows recalibrates priorities to meet the new reality we are facing. The IMF also continues to adjust to respond to the rapidly evolving needs of our membership. Our flexibility has been evident over the past two years of the COVID crisis: unprecedented emergency financing; a historic Special Drawing Rights (SDR) allocation; an innovative plan to end the pandemic. Now, as we face another crisis on top of a crisis, we will continue to step up and support our member countries in every way we can—with financial resources, policy advice, and capacity development—working in collaboration with our international partners.
Mr. Christian Bogmans, Mr. Andrea Pescatori, and Ervin Prifti
Mr. Christian Bogmans, Mr. Andrea Pescatori, and Ervin Prifti
We study how two aspects of food insecurity - caloric insufficiency and diet composition - are affected by aggregate economic fluctuations. The use of cross-country panel data allows us to adopt a global prospective on the identification of the macroeconomic determinants of food insecurity. Income shocks are the most relevant driver of food insecurity, displaying high elasticities at the early stages of economic development. The role of food price shocks is more limited. Social protection has a direct effect and mitigates the impact of income shocks. Effects are highly heterogeneous across a range of structural characteristics of the economy, highlighting the role of distributional aspects and of food import dependency.