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Vulnerability to food insecurity

Why Mountains Matter










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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Infographic - Mapping the vulnerability of mountain peoples to food insecurity 2015
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    Mapping the vulnerability of mountain peoples to food insecurity found that the number of food insecure people living in mountain regions in developing countries grew to nearly 329 million in 2012, up from 253 million in 2000, even though the overall population of the world's mountain peoples increased only by 16 percent during that same time. That means that one in three mountain people, both urban and rural, in developing countries faced hunger and malnutrition, compared to one out of nine pe ople globally. And focusing on only rural mountain populations, which depend on natural resources such as land, water and forests for their livelihoods, the numbers get even starker: almost half of them are food insecure.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Vulnerability of mountain peoples to food insecurity
    Updated data and analysis of drivers
    2020
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    This study, the third of its type published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), adds further evidence that in mountain regions of developing countries, food insecurity, social isolation, environmental degradation, exposure to the risk of disasters and to the impacts of climate change, and limited access to basic services, especially in rural areas, are still prevalent and, under some circumstances, increasing. It also shows the technical challenges for producing more comprehensive and representative assessments based on scientific data, and providing a deeper understanding of the underlying factors of vulnerability of mountain people. Mountains cover 39 million km2, or 27 percent, of the world’s land surface. In 2017, the global mountain population reached nearly 1.1 billion, which is 15 percent of the world’s population, with an increase of 89 million people since 2012. The increase added almost entirely (86 million people) to the mountain population in developing countries, which reached one billion people in 2017. The population has increased in all the regions of the developing world. Only the areas at the highest mountain altitudes (above 3 500 m) continued to experience a depopulation trend in the last 17 years, while at all other elevations population increased. In all African subregions, in South America and in Central and Western Asia, the population density is higher in the mountains than in the lowlands. In developing countries, 648 million people (65 percent of the total mountain population) live in rural areas. Half of them – 346 million – were estimated to be vulnerable to food insecurity in 2017. In other words, one in two rural mountain dwellers in developing countries live in areas where the daily availability of calories and protein was estimated to be below the minimum threshold needed for a healthy life. In the five years from 2012 to 2017, the number of vulnerable people increased in the mountains of developing countries, approximately at the same pace as the total mountain population. Although the proportion of vulnerable people to the total mountain population did not change, the absolute number of vulnerable people increased globally by 40 million, representing an increment of 12.5 percent from 2012 to 2017.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Food insecurity and vulnerability in Nepal: Profiles of seven vulnerable groups 2004
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    This report documents the main findings of vulnerable group profiling work in Nepal. It identifies the characteristics and investigates the vulnerability for seven particular livelihood groups, notably marginal farm households in the Terai, in the hills and in the mountains, agricultural labour households in the Terai, porters in the hills and mountains, rural service castes, and poor urban workers in the informal economy in the Kathmandu Valley. Based on this analysis, it considers how these pe ople cope during times of insufficient food production and/or earnings, and proposes actions that could be taken to reduce their vulnerability to becoming food insecure in the future. Most of the research on poverty in Nepal during the past decades has focused exclusively on determining the poverty line and calculating the proportion of people living under this line, rather than unmasking the characteristics, particularly the locational aspects, of poverty other than the rural and urban distribu tion (Sadeque, 1998). This report therefore contributes to new knowledge by identifying and characterising particular vulnerable groups of people in broad geographic areas based on their livelihoods. The knowledge and insights gained through this process is intended to complement existing assessments at the household/community and national level, and to help bridge the gap between local knowledge and national level decision-making. It is hoped that this study will draw attention to the need for greater policy and programme support to food security in Nepal. In this context, the findings could inform the design of a food security policy (as recommended in the UN progress report on implementation of the Millennium Development Goals in Nepal), as well as the development and strengthening of other policies and programmes that reduce vulnerability and increase food security for a larger share of the population in the country. In particular, it could be useful in supporting implementation of the Government’s recently formulated Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) which received cabinet endorsement in May 2003.

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