Food Security in the Middle East and North Africa
To date, one of the few comprehensive indicators for the measurement of food security is the Global Food Security Index (GFSI). This index is a dynamic quantitative and qualitative benchmarking model, constructed from 28 unique indicators, that measures drivers of food security across both developing and developed countries. Whereas the GFSI has been calculated across a set of 109 countries, in this paper we aim to present and compare, for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), 1) the Food Security Index scores achieved and 2) the data available on affordability, availability, and quality of food. The data for this work was taken from the latest available report published by the creators of the GFSI, which in turn used information from national and international statistical sources. MENA countries rank from place 17/109 (Israel, although with resent political turmoil this is likely to have changed) to place 91/109 (Yemen) with household expenditure spent in food ranging from 15.5% (Israel) to 60% (Egypt). Lower spending on food as a share of household consumption in most countries and better food safety net programs in the MENA have contributed to a notable increase in food affordability. The region has also, however, experienced a decline in food availability, owing to more limited food supplies and higher volatility of agricultural production. In terms of food quality and safety the MENA has the top ranking country (Israel). The most frequent challenges faced by the countries of the MENA include public expenditure on agricultural research and development as well as volatility of agricultural production. Food security is a complex phenomenon that interacts with many other indicators of a country’s wellbeing; in the MENA it is slowly but markedly improving.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1099016Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 3412
 World Health Organization, “Food Security,” Available from http://www.who.int/trade/glossary/story028/en/. Accessed 17.09.2014.
 The Economists Intelligence Unit, “Global Food Security Index 2014,” Available from http://foodsecurityindex.eiu.com/. Accessed 17.09.2014.
 The World Bank, The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and The International Fund for Agricultural Development (2009), “Improving food security in Arab countries,” Available from: http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/1f52b98a6bbc8065 492575a0000b87da-full_report.pdf. Accessed 18.08.2014.
 International Monetary Fund (2012), “Costly Mideast subsidies need better targeting,” Available from: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/ survey/so/2012/car051412b.htm. Accessed 28.09.2014.
 Al Jazeera (2014) “UN says Syria refugees pass three million,” Available from: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/08/unsays- syria-refugees-top-three-million-mark-201482952430880804.html. Accessed 28.09.2014.
 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (2014), “Syria regional refugee response,” Available from: http://data.unhcr.org/ syrianrefugees/regional.php. Accessed 28.09.2014.
 World Food Program (2014), “Funding shortfall forces WFP to announce cutbacks to Syrian food assistance operation,” Available from: https://www.wfp.org/news/news-release/funding-shortfall-forces-wfpannounce- cutbacks-syrian-food-assistance-operation. Accessed 28.09.2014.
 International Food Policy Research Institute (2010), “Middle East and North Africa strategy,” Available from: http://www.ifpri.org/sites/ default/files/publications/ifpridp01196.pdf. Accessed 28.09.2014.
 McMichael AJ (2014), “Climate. Nutrition. The big picture, impact on water, crops and food. (commentary),” World Nutrition. 5, 7-8, 632-636.
 Katkhuda N (2014), “Food security in the Middle East,” Ecomena. Available from: http://www.ecomena.org/tag/food-shortage-in-middleeast/. Accessed 18.08.2014.
 The Sahara Forest Project (2014), “Greening the desert,” Available from: http://saharaforestproject.com/concept.html. Accessed 08.18.2014.
 Garduño-Diaz SD and Garduño-Diaz PY (2014), “Components of an obesogenic environment in Kuwait,” Journal of Nutritional Therapeutics 3, 35-46.
 Al Monitor (2014), “Drought triggers protests in Iran,” Available from: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/09/esfahan-zayandehrood- protest-water-crisis.html. Accessed 28.09.2014.
 Food and Agriculture Organization (2007), “Climate change adaptation in the in the water sector in the Middle East and North Africa: a review of main issues,” Available from: http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/ user_upload/rome2007/docs/climate_change_adaptation_water_sector_n ena.pdf. Accessed 28.09.2014.