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Re: What is the role of social relations and networks in household food security and nutrition?

30.10.2013

How do people who already have access to food security and nutrition utilize social relations and networks to better the lives of the less fortunate?

It is said that the quantity of food being produced on a daily basis is more than enough needed to feed the world; still, the world is becoming increasingly populated with malnutrition and persons dying of hunger. It is our belief that good social relations and networks in household food security and nutrition can help to alleviate this problem. The individuals that already have access to food security and nutrition can utilize social relations and networks not only to further help themselves but persons who do not have access to food security.

Social relations and networks such as connections with governmental organizations and other institutions (NGOs, etc.) of which can provide safety nets designed to promote better management of unexpected shocks and, in the longer term, reduce chronic poverty for the most vulnerable individuals or households.[1] Such relations can boost the resources of households, example; the distribution of food and money or vouchers. Therefore, individuals with access to Food Security can help others by getting involved in community work as well as participation in health programmes and training in exchange for food distribution for the less fortunate.

Social relations and networks like these allow households to cover their immediate food needs, not to mention other essential items of expenditure such as health and education. Unlike emergency interventions, these social relations and networks can be enforced which enables households to keep hold of their possessions and production tools (e.g. animals, implements, land) during difficult periods (lengthy spells between harvests, crop failure), making it possible ultimately to reinforce and stimulate the local economy.

In concluding, people who already have access to Food Security and nutrition can utilize social relations and networks to help those that are less fortunate to have such. They can form alliances with organizations hence, creating a network chain to mitigate the problem of increasing malnutrition and poverty in the world.


[1] Food Security: Understanding and Meeting the Challenge of Poverty