To avoid playing catch-up in urban contexts, food security demands better data

Nancy Stetson, special representative for global food security for the U.S. Department of State, shares with Devex the need to ask more questions about food security in urban areas.

Ten years from now, we’re going to have a major problem in countries that are already food insecure if we don’t start looking at migration from rural to urban areas, according to Nancy Stetson, special representative for global food security for the U.S. Department of State.

“What does that mean for food production, livelihoods, what kind of food they’re eating?” she asked. “We need to look at that now before we have to play catch up.”

A critical part of examining this issue is the use of data, but “we’re not asking enough questions” with respect to urban areas, Stetson said. Another is determining long-term food security solutions for conflict areas — something no one entity can do by themselves, she noted.

Future Fortified is a special online series presented by Devex, in partnership with GAIN, exploring the impact and importance of food fortification to meet global development objectives. Visit the campaign site and join the conversation using #FutureFortified.

About the author

  • Kelli Rogers

    Kelli Rogers is an Associate Editor for Devex. Based on the U.S. West Coast, she works with Devex's team of correspondents and editors around the world, with a particular focus on gender. She previously worked as Devex’s Southeast Asia correspondent based in Bangkok, covering disaster and crisis response, resilience, women’s rights, and climate change throughout the region. Prior to that, she reported on social and environmental issues from Nairobi, Kenya. Kelli holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, and has since reported from more than 20 countries.