Dimensions of Food Security

  • The definition of food security points to the following dimensions of food security:
  • Food availability: The availability of sufficient quantities of food of appropriate quality, supplied through domestic production or imports (including food aid).
  • Food access: Access by individuals to adequate resources (entitlements) for acquiring appropriate foods for a nutritious diet. Access therefore points to the legal, political, economic and social arrangements that enable one to acquire food 
  • Utilization: Utilization of food through adequate diet, clean water, sanitation and health care to reach a state of nutritional well-being where all physiological needs are met. This brings out the importance of non-food inputs in food security.
  • Stability: To be food secure, a population, household or individual must have access to adequate food at all times. They should not risk losing access to food as a consequence of sudden shocks (e.g., an economic, climatic crisis, or pandemics like COVID-19) or cyclical events (e.g., seasonal food insecurity). The concept of stability can therefore refer to both the availability and access dimensions of food security.