Nutrition | Food security

Food security

Print PDF

A colourful display of different fruits and vegetablesFood and nutrition security is a major focus of regional nutrition programme. Food security includes both physical and economic access to food. Basic components of food security include the following aspects.

Availability: Sufficient quantities of appropriate food are available from domestic production, commercial imports or food assistance on a consistent base.

Access: Adequate income or other resources are available to access appropriate food through home production, buying, exchange, gifts, borrowing or food aid.

Utilization: Food is properly used through appropriate food processing and storage practices, adequate knowledge and application of nutrition and child care practices, and adequate health and sanitation services.

Stability: Adequate food must be obtainable at all times so that access and availability of food is not curtailed by acute or recurring emergencies (sudden crises or seasonal shortages).

Related links

Health action in crisis, Drought

World Food Programme, Food security analysis

Statistics and figures

WHO has several nutrition-related global databases. They include data for countries in the Region. Please click on the links to access them.

Vitamin and Mineral Nutrition Information System

WHO Global Database on Body Mass Index

WHO Global Database on Child Growth and Malnutrition

WHO Global Data Bank on Infant and Young Child Feeding

Some nutrition-related data from the Regional Health Observatory:

Estimates of anaemia in non-pregnant women of reproductive age

Anaemia in preschool-age children

Trend estimates for under 5 child malnutrition: