No. 15: The State of Food Insecurity in Manzini, Swaziland

This study of the food security situation of the poor in Manzini, Swaziland’s economic hub, formed part of AFSUN’s baseline survey of eleven Southern African cities. It found that the urban poor here are less food secure than in any of the other cities in the survey. On the basis of the findings presented in this paper, AFSUN makes several policy recommendations to deal with food security challenges in the poor urban areas of Swaziland. Among these is that government needs to target urban households specifically in addition to its focus on poverty in rural areas. A more national approach that covers both rural and urban areas will help Swaziland to move towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal to reduce hunger by 50%. Because households that are severely food insecure tend to be large, female-headed and female-centred, and have a narrow range of livelihood strategies, it is vital for policies that address urban food security to appreciate the complex relationship between household food security and a range of variables such as income, gender and household size.

Nomcebo Simelane & Daniel Tevera

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