Millions In The Caribbean Found To Be Food Insecure – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

A recent study estimated that three million people in 22 Caribbean countries and territories are food insecure.

The Caribbean Food Security and Livelihoods Survey was conducted by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

A WFP release explained that despite modest improvements over last year, food insecurity in the English—and Dutch-speaking Caribbean remain persistently higher than pre-pandemic levels.

According to the release, the cost-of-living crisis, global economic volatility, and the lingering impacts of the pandemic have impacted the situation.  

It said Small Island Developing States (SIDS) continue grappling with high food costs and inputs for productive sectors.

Ninety-six percent of survey respondents reported rising food prices over the past three months.

Citing a high dependence on imported goods and limited economies of scale, the WFP noted that much of the population of SIDS struggles to afford a healthy diet.

The UN agency also noted that with a highly active Atlantic hurricane season forecast to kick off on June 1, the threat of natural hazards on food security looms large for those living in the region. 

“In the face of persistent food insecurity, impactful investments in agriculture, finance, and social protection are urgently needed,” it observed.

The WFP release also urged robust investments in disaster management as critical to fostering resilient food systems. 

“Every individual in this region deserves consistent access to nutritious and affordable food for their families,” said Regis Chapman, Representative and Country Director of WFP’s Caribbean Multi-Country Office.