Empowering Local Solutions: A Global Response to Food Insecurity


UCLG publishes a new study to showcase how local and regional governments combat food insecurity around the world

Food insecurity stands as a structural and systemic challenge exacerbated by growing inequalities. In the complex landscape of the 21st century, we confront global challenges such as inflation, conflicts, and the impacts of the climate crisis which directly affect food systems and, more importantly, the access of the most vulnerable to nourishment and agency over their diets. Accelerated climate change disrupts food production, while geopolitical conflicts and wars lead to surging food prices and alter food distribution chains.

As we grapple with these multifaceted challenges, the urgency goes beyond immediate responses to emergency food insecurity. In this context how can we ensure access to sufficient, sustainable nutrition to all? What sustainable measures are implemented at the local level? What levers exist for local and regional governments to provide enduring answers, aligned with social, health, and environmental criteria?

Local and Regional Governments at the forefront of combating food insecurity 

For decades, local and regional governments have been at the forefront of addressing agricultural and food-related challenges. Their proactive engagement is integral to realizing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Working in diverse contexts and beyond the borders of nation-states, these actors foster innovative policies, community initiatives, and strategic alliances to guarantee more equitable, inclusive and resilient food systems. Moreover, in recent years, the local and regional government constituency has been active in global policy processes related to food including the United Nations Committee on World Food Security, the UN Food Systems Summit, and the HLPF among others, ensuring that they are part and parcel of decision-making processes related to food.

This publication stands as a compendium of innovative ideas, best practices, and policy recommendations. It is more than a theoretical exploration; it is a tangible guide intended to assist local and regional governments in crafting effective policies to combat food insecurity. With the supportive backing of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and support from the World Sustainable Urban Food Center of Valencia (CEMAS), UCLG has commissioned a comprehensive study through the non-profit organization ‘Let’s Food’. This important study seeks to underscore the pivotal role of local and regional governments in combating food insecurity but also in ensuring universal access to nutrition and agency in food systems transformations.

Global, Insightful Practices

Within this study, we explore ten distinctive practices adopted by local and regional governments across the globe. Each local and regional government, a beacon of innovative resilience, offers a context-specific approach to tackling food insecurity. They comprise the following: implementation of a “Common Food Fund” to guarantee quality food for all in Montpellier (France); support for agrotourism and the creation of agricultural jobs for young people and women to combat food insecurity in Chefchaouen (Morocco); agroforestry and school gardens to meet the needs of children in Antananarivo (Madagascar); valuing local food heritage in the Catalonia region (Spain); implementation of agro-ecological policies in Durban (South Africa); support for school canteens with local providers stimulating job creation in Rufisque (Senegal); creation of local institutions and food democracy in Sao Paulo (Brazil); cooperatives and structuring of local sectors to increase the incomes of small producers and combat food insecurity in Siem Reap (Cambodia); and mapping of food resources to identify access inequalities in Vancouver (Canada). Thus, this publication, together with the number of initiatives featured, vividly illustrates how local and regional governments collaborate with a diverse range of stakeholders, including civil society actors, to support the most disadvantaged groups of people and ensure food security for all.

Pathways to Global Solutions

Beyond these individual narratives, this publication serves as a testament to the collaborative efforts of local and regional governments. It portrays a comprehensive overview of collaboration with diverse stakeholders, including civil society actors, to uplift and support the most disadvantaged segments of society, ensuring food security for all.

Available online in English, French, and Spanish, this publication not only presents experiments conducted by governments worldwide but also distils common lessons learned and pathways for global solutions. These insights culminate in a set of recommendations tailored for governments and international institutions.

Expert Perspectives and Commitment to the Future

The study is complemented by insightful viewpoints of the experts Thierry Giordano from CIRAD and Rebeca Monroy Torres from the University of Guanajuato. Through this extensive exploration, the aim is to spotlight the unwavering efforts of the local and regional government constituency in advancing the commitments of the UCLG Pact for the Future, ultimately striving to create a more equitable, sustainable, and resilient world.


As we collectively gaze into the future, the imperative for local and regional governments is clear—to redouble efforts in establishing local, sustainable food systems. These systems must not only ensure equitable access to nutrition but also enhance community resilience, champion social justice, and foster overall well-being. United in this shared endeavour, we stand committed towards a world where hunger is eradicated —a world where every citizen is afforded the opportunity to contribute to a brighter future for themselves and for all. The local and regional government constituency will persist in conveying these key messages to the UN’s CFS to ensure that global policy processes duly consider the priorities, ambitions, and challenges of communities.