Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Social Protection for Food Security report prepared for HLPE

Committee on World Food Security
High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) on Food Security and Nutrition
Report 4
Rome, 2012

Written by Team Leader Stephen Devereux, Wenche Barth Eide, John Hoddinott, Nora Lustig and Kalanidhi Subbaro.

Summary and Recommendations

Food insecurity refers to both the inability to secure an adequate diet today and the risk of being unable to do so in the future. Social protection is a menu of policy instruments that addresses poverty and vulnerability, through social assistance, social insurance and efforts at social inclusion.

Social protection has risen rapidly up the development policy agenda. This report aims to review evidence and experience, and proposes recommendations for using social protection more effectively to protect and promote food security. The analysis is framed by the recognition that the right to adequate food and the right to social protection are human rights under international law, and that implementing social protection policies and programmes using a rights based approach is not only morally and legally appropriate but is likely to lead to improved food security outcomes.

People who are already poor are vulnerable to hunger because they lack the resources to meet their basic needs on a daily basis. They are also highly vulnerable to even small shocks that will push them closer to destitution, starvation, even premature mortality. The appropriate social protection response to chronic poverty-related food insecurity is social assistance linked to ‘€˜livelihood promotion‘€™ measures that enhance incomes. People who are not poor now but face the risk of future poverty are vulnerable to hunger if these risks materialise and they are inadequately protected against them (they will face transitory food insecurity). These people need effective ‘€˜social safety nets‘€™.

Social protection systems should not be seen as ‘€˜deadweight‘€™ burdens on fiscal systems. Well- designed social protection interventions are good for growth. In particular, by preventing the depletion of assets and reducing the personal risk of investing for the poor, social protection can be a ‘€˜win-win‘€™ strategy: pro-poor and pro-growth.

Find the full text of the report here.

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This summer educator institute is the third institute in a series being offered by Tulane University, The University of Georgia and Vanderbilt University. This series of institutes is designed to enhance the presence of Central America in the K-12 classroom. Each year, participants engage with presenters, resources and other K-12 colleagues to explore diverse topics in Central America with a focus on people and the environment.

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