Food insecurity affects 52 million Brazilians

The predicament faced by the population is at its worst in the country

Published in 18/12/2014 - 17:10 By Flávia Villela reports from Agência Brasil - Rio de Janeiro

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In spite of the decreasing number of households coping with food insecurity in Brazil, everyday access to quality food is still precarious in the lives of 52 million Brazilians.Arquivo/Agência Brasil

In spite of the decreasing number of households coping with food insecurity in Brazil, everyday access to quality food is still precarious in the lives of 52 million Brazilians.

A survey on food insecurity conducted in 2013 and released today (Dec 18) by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) detected some sort of food security problem in 14.7 million households—22.6% of the country's 65.3 million registered homes. In 2009 and 2004, the years in which studies of the same kind were carried out, this figure was 29.5% and 34.8%, respectively.

As many as 34.5 million people in 9.6 million homes (14.8%) reported concerns about their future access to food—which the study describes as slight food insecurity. In the households whose situation was labeled as moderate, (4.6%), a total of 10.3 million people were found. In this segment of the population, a limitation was detected in the amount of food people had access to. A severe food insecurity scenario, in turn, faced 3.2% of homes, by which the survey implies that 7.2 million individuals reported some sort of famine experience in the period surveyed. This percentage was 5% in 2009, and 6.9% in 2004.

Ocupação Nova Tuffy, na zona norte da cidade, onde vivem cerca de 1800 famílias num antigo prédio industrial. Na foto, comida feita com doações (Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil)

The document further reveals there were people suffering from food insecurity in 35.3% of the households located in rural areas. (Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil) 2.2 W

The document further reveals there were people suffering from food insecurity in 35.3% of the households located in rural areas. Homes facing a situation classified as moderate or severe added up to 13.9%. Its urban equivalent stood at 20.5%, with 6.8% of households found under moderate or severe conditions. In 2009, the rates were 43.7% in rural areas, and 29.3% in urban ones, with moderate and severe scenarios reported in 7.4% of the urban population, and 15.8% of the rural population.

As for Brazil's geopolitical regions, the North and the Northeast showed in 2013 the highest number of homes with people coping with food insecurity (36.1% and 38.1%, respectively). This figure did not reach 20% in the remaining regions of the country. The lowest rate was reported in the Southeast: 14.5%.

The North and the Northeast also reported the highest amount of households with people suffering from severe food insecurity (6.7% and 5.6%). In the South and Southeast, homes in this situation totaled 1.9% and 2.3%. On the other hand, from 2004 to 2013, a more significant increase in the percentage of homes with people with healthy eating habits was observed in the Northeast (15.5 percentage points)—a surge from 46.4% to 61.9%.

Espírito Santo was the state with the highest food security rate (89.65%), followed by Santa Catarina (88.9%), and São Paulo (88.4%). Conversely, the units of the federation with the lowest indexes were Maranhão (39.1%) and Piauí (39.1%), where access to food posed no challenges in fewer than half of all registered homes, despite the increase from 4.6 and 3.3 percentage points in their food security rates from the previous study.


Translated by Fabrício Ferreira


Fonte: Food insecurity affects 52 million Brazilians

Edition: Valéria Aguiar / Nira Foster

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