PUBLISHED: 18 October 2022

Emerging Issues: Food Insecurity


Access to food is a basic right that is outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [1]. However, food prices are increasing faster than ever. Food insecurity, or the lack of access to food due to financial constraints, is experienced all over the world. The lack of a secure and nutritious food source can contribute to long-term health issues. Agriculture is the fundamental solution to the global food insecurity problem but producing the required amount of food and the process of transporting food from the farm to the table comes with many different challenges. 

Food insecurity is connected to water and to agricultural production because increasing agriculture to increase the amount of food accessible to the growing global population will require more water, and therefore ties to the challenges of water availability.

Main Causes

There are physical challenges that can result in food insecurity by limiting agriculture. Agriculture is a process that is dependent on geography, specifically land availability and regional climate. Climate change also interferes with the natural growth cycle of crops. Arid areas especially may experience more food insecurity due to insufficient water to grow crops. Socio-economic factors also contribute to food insecurity. High inflation rates and existing poverty also reduce the accessibility of nutritious food. Remote areas and Indigenous communities in Canada are often hit hard with food insecurity. This is because of the increased costs associated with food transportation. In fact, 57% of households in Nunavut experience some level of food insecurity [2]. 

Potential Solutions

Food insecurity can be combatted with efforts from farmers, governments, and communities. Governments can work with farmers to coordinate the global food trade. They can also provide funding options for poorer areas. Local communities can also fight food insecurity through shopping and eating local. This reduces the need for food transportation, which can then be better allocated to help remote communities. Aiming to reduce food waste also guarantees more food is available and reduces pressure on farmers [3]. 

Related Organizations and Resources

The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) provides relief for food security around the world. Partnering with organizations like the World Food Programme and UNICEF, CIDA will help provide food for lower income countries [3]. Working or volunteering with local food banks can help to provide food security on a smaller scale.  


[1] (2022). Universal Declaration of Human Rights. United Nations.  

[2] (2022). The basics of food security (and how it’s tied to everything). World Vision.  

[3] (2009). Increasing food security: CIDA’s food security strategy. Canadian International Development Agency.

Thank you to our generous sponsors for the Water Connections Project

This phase of the project has been made possible by Nutrien, Enbridge, and Manulife Financial, along with the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.