Almost a third of Colombian households in food insecurity

Bogotá (BLAZETRENDS).- Almost a third of Colombian households, 28.1%, live in a situation of severe or moderate food insecurity, that is, they had to reduce the quantity and quality of food consumed, at least once in the last year, according to data published by the Government and the FAO.

In addition, 5 out of 100 households (4.9%) lived in severe food insecurity last year, that is, at least one person went without food all day due to lack of money.

The data are from the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES) developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), published today for the first time in Colombia, and which has been included in the National Survey of Quality of Life (ECV), carried out by the state National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE).

The director of DANE, Piedad Urdinola, highlighted that “for the first time in the country” this indicator of food insecurity is available in a survey “as robust” as the ECV and that the measurement of severe or moderate food insecurity should “motivate reflection in the country”.

Food insecurity in the Caribbean

The situation worsens in rural areas, where moderate or severe food insecurity rises to 33%, with the departments of the Colombian Caribbean being the worst, with La Guajira at the head (59.7% of households), followed by Sucre (47 .9%), Atlántico (46.1%) and Magdalena (45.3%).

Precisely in La Guajira, where severe food insecurity is close to 17.5% (almost four times the national average), last week it was learned that 39 of the 141 deaths due to malnutrition of children under 5 years of age have been registered so far year in the country.

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According to DANE and the FAO index -which has been endorsed in more than a hundred countries-, food insecurity worsens in households with more than two members and is also worse in single-parent families, especially headed by a woman. There is also a higher prevalence of hunger in families with people with disabilities and where there are children under 5 years of age.

“There is an increase in food insecurity as the size of the household grows, after two people,” Urdinola explained during the presentation of the index. In households of five people or more, food insecurity reaches 39.7% of the national average.

FAO in Colombia

These data, according to the director of the FAO in Colombia, Maya Takagi, can help to “design better political interventions” to remedy food insecurity, since this is the largest tool in the region. In 2022, 1,954 cases of acute malnutrition in children under 5 years of age were registered in La Guajira.

The data coincides with those published last year by another UN agency, the World Food Program (WFP), which stated in the Food Security Assessment that 15.5 million people were in a situation of moderate and severe food insecurity in November 2022, that is, 30% of the national population.

According to the 2015 National Nutrition Situation Survey (ESIN), which was the most recent to date, food insecurity in the country was 54.2%, that is, more than half of Colombian households had difficulties getting food.

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