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Surveillance systems critical to food security in lower-income countries

Food system shocks – like natural disasters, political conflicts, or pandemics – raise the prices of staple foods, reduce access to good-quality diets and increase hunger. In low- and middle-income countries, the impacts of such shocks can be harder to measure, and respond to, because these countries rely more on informal food vendors, small, mobile retailers who are often unlicensed but provide a critical link in urban food environments.

A new project from Cornell’s Food Systems & Global Change, in collaboration with Purdue University and Kula Vyema Centre of Food Economics, seeks to develop a surveillance system to measure food environments in two mid-sized cities in south-central Kenya, and to develop a methodology for monitoring similar food environments around the world, with the goal of improving food security and health.

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