Special Issue BLUE SQ512

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Urban Transformations 2022-2023, 4/5.

Special Issue BLUE SQ512

Impacts of COVID-19 on Urban Food Security

Jonathan Crush, Elizabeth Opiyo Onyango, Jeremy Wagner

Land 2022, 11(6).

COVID-19 and its associated health policies have dramatically affected food systems and food security in cities around the world. The pandemic has led to increases in levels of vulnerability and has created complexities within urban food systems by worsening household income and chronic and acute hunger, and disrupting food supply chains, which were widespread issues even prior to the pandemic. COVID-19 has exacerbated these issues by affecting vulnerable households in almost every city, and more specifically, the overcrowded cities of the Global South. As the threat of new variants looms, these impacts are expected to persist for the foreseeable future. Our changing food systems, livelihood strategies, and food security experiences remain areas of concern that require more research.

In this Special Issue, we bring together papers that reveal the complexities and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated health policies on urban food security in the Global South. We are seeking empirical research or conceptual/theoretical works which examine key processes and issues including, but not limited to:

  • Disruptions to income and livelihood vulnerability in cities;
  • Food supply chain disruptions;
  • Urban household food access, availability, utilization and stability;
  • Social relations of inequality and/or difference such as gender, age, race, class and ethnicity;
  • Urban food system governance and resilience;
  • Rural-to-urban, urban-to-urban, transboundary, and multiscalar linkages.
Special Issue BLUE SQ512

African Human Mobility Review

Jonathan Crush et al.

African Human Mobility Review 2017, 3(2): 751-943.

Special Issue BLUE SQ512

Cultivating the Migration-Food Security Nexus

Jonathan Crush, Mary Caesar (eds.)

International Migration 2017, 55(4): 10-102.

In this issue of International Migration we have a special section, Cultivating the Migration-Food Security Nexus, which has been Guest-Edited by Jonathan Crush and Mary Caesar. As scholars examine ever more closely the relationship between migration and development, that of the relationship between migration and food security is fast becoming a natural relative. The second of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is to “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture”. Interestingly, none of its targets and indicators refers to migration. We are happy to address this lacuna in this special section.

Special Issue BLUE SQ512

Africa’s Urban Food Deserts

Jane Battersby and Jonathan Crush

Urban Forum 2014, 25(2): 143-151.

Since the mid-1990s, the concept of the ‘urban food desert’ has been extensively applied to deprived neighbourhoods in European and North American cities. Food deserts are usually characterised as economically-disadvantaged areas where there is relatively poor access to healthy and affordable food because of the absence of modern retail outlets (such as supermarkets). This idea has not been applied in any systematic way to cities of the Global South and African cities in particular. Yet African cities contain many poor neighbourhoods whose residents are far more food insecure and malnourished than their counterparts in the North. This paper reviews some of the challenges and difficulties of conceiving of highly food insecure areas of African cities as conventional food deserts. At the same time, it argues that the concept, appropriately reformulated to fit African realities of rapid urbanisation and multiple food procurement systems, is a useful analytical tool for African urban researchers and policy-makers. Although supermarkets are becoming an important element of the food environment in African cities, a simple focus on modern retail does not adequately capture complexity of the African food desert. In the African context, the food deserts concept requires a much more sophisticated understanding of over-lapping market and non-market food sources, of the nature and dynamism of the informal food economy, of the inter-household differences that lead to different experiences of food insecurity and of the Africa-specific conditions that lead to compromised diets, undernutrition and social exclusion. The papers in this special issue explore these different aspects of African food deserts defined as poor, often informal, urban neighbourhoods characterised by high food insecurity and low dietary diversity, with multiple market and non-market food sources but variable household access to food.

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