Food insecurity in Mali: Identifying Vulnerable Households with Precision

Ibrahima Bocoum

In 2010, 16% of people in developing countries were undernourished; way above the 10% target set by the Millennium Development Goals. This poor result calls into question food security policies, which are often based on macroeconomic indicators. Using household surveys, a research study on Mali confirms that poverty is an important factor of hunger, but it also highlights certain paradoxes: poor households may have enough food, while those that are above the poverty line may not. It explains these paradoxes by identifying other factors influencing the food situation, such as household size, budget constraints, food preferences, and social obligations. Taking these additional factors into account helps to more accurately characterise undernourished populations and to better target action.

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