Vulnerable populations are minimally resilient to shocks, whether caused by humans or natural disasters. Emerging threats and new trends—such as climate change, population growth, aging societies, urbanization, infectious as well as noncommunicable diseases, and environmental degradation—are bound to aggravate the consequences of shocks on already vulnerable populations by triggering damage, loss, and displacement. Such threats pose an additional hurdle to the stated policy objective of the international community to eradicate hunger and malnutrition.
Urgent action is needed to reduce the vulnerability of poor people, particularly regarding food and nutrition insecurity. Although relief initiatives and emergency appeals attract more donor attention, building resilience is equally important for reducing the impact and severity of shocks. Indeed, long-term investments in such measures can be highly cost-effective and have a profound impact in terms of saving lives and securing livelihoods when disasters strike. Managing food price volatility is also important in decreasing poor people’s vulnerability, but that subject is discussed elsewhere.