Food security, nutrition and livelihoods

A women tending rice fields in the Akaboti Valley in southern Rwanda. Croix-Rouge Rwandaise is helping with various land cultivation projects throughout Rwanda in an effort to improve food security in the densly populated country. Victor Lacken/IFRC
Food security, nutrition and livelihoods

Our activities

What we aim to achieve

In recognition of the right to food*, and the increased vulnerability of households to food and...

What do we do in food security, nutrition and livelihoods?

The Red Cross Red Crescent food, nutrition and livelihoods activities vary greatly depending on t...


Policy Food security and nutrition policy Strategy Strategy 2020 Community preparedness and risk...

How do we do food security, nutrition and livelihoods?

Interventions   National Societies’ preparedness and risk reduction related intervention areas to...

Case studies

Case studies highlight the achievements, lessons learnt and best practices or stories of how food...


National and local level government line departments (such as the ministry of agriculture,...

Facts on hunger and malnutrition

Persistent food and nutrition insecurity continues to be a chronic problem globally. According to the FAO there are almost 870 million people chronically undernourished today, representing 12.5 per cent of the world`s population, or one in eight people, of which nearly 850 million live in developing countries. An estimated 52 million children under-five years of age are believed to suffer from acute malnutrition and 165 million children under the age of five, or 26%, are chronically malnourished.

Although there has been progress, the number of undernourished around the world remains unacceptably high with Asia and the Pacific and Africa being the most affected regions. The number of undernourished in Asia and the Pacific is currently 563 million and 239 million in Africa, meaning 13.9 per cent and 22.9 per cent of the total population in the regions are food insecure. Underlying factors include natural disasters – with drought being the single most common cause of food shortages – conflicts, poverty, lack of agricultural infrastructure, all of which are compounded and exacerbated by environmental degradation and climate change.

Food is vital, as it constitutes the basis for life. It is not only the main source of nutritional welfare, a guarantee of good health and a factor in reducing poverty but it also allows communities to reduce the impact of crises that could fall on them. Achieving food and nutrition security and improving people`s livelihoods in a sustainable manner is therefore key to the efforts of the IFRC to save lives, protect livelihoods and strengthen recovery from disasters and crises and enable healthy and safe living. The IFRC supports Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies to assist local communities in setting up long term food security programs. These programs are carried out in a participative way where communities actively manage their own development projects.

Food security

“Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”. (World Food Summit, 2009)

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world's largest humanitarian organization, with 190 member National Societies. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, our work is guided by seven fundamental principles; humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. About this site & copyright