Chronic food insecurity is defined as extended periods of poverty, asset scarcity, and inadequate access to productive or financial resources.
Over a long duration of time if people don't have access to food, money to buy food, or assets to trade for food then they fall within the realm of chronic food insecurity. I think of this as people living in Somalia or Ethiopia (I always remember seeing TIME magazines from the 90s with these places on the cover) or some place where people have been suffering and starving for a long time. Although, chronic food insecurity can certainly be found in the Western world as well.
Seasonal food insecurity is defined as falling between chronic and transitory food insecurity. It's similar to chronic food insecurity in that it is predictable and follows known sequences of events and is recurrent. It's similar to transitory food insecurity because of its limited duration.
|A local market in Mongu, Zambia, where many people will go to buy seasonal fruits and vegetables. In times of hunger having extra spending money can make an enormous difference between going hungry and getting a good meal or two in each day.|
Seasonal food insecurity is huge in Zambia. There's an entire time of the year dedicated to it... the hunger season (clever name, eh?). This time of the year is typically from November to February - the same time of year when the crops (maize, beans, etc.) are just being planted, but the gardens have finished producing much of their harvest for the year. During this time 3 meals a day recedes to 2, then down to 1 and sometimes none. It's a really hard, crappy, sucky time of year for the food insecure.
|Water shortages brought on during the driest times of the year (September and October, just before the hunger season) also can limit food production and create hunger.|
Transitory food insecurity is described as being relatively unpredictable and can emerge suddenly; without warning.
Think "act of God" in regards to this one. Transitory food insecurity is often the result of a massive shakeup from something like a natural disaster. Boom! Storm hits and food reserves drop off. People are forced to flee their homes, crops, and known surroundings. Right now, this is a huge issue in the Middle East with food insecurity being brought on by wars in Syria, Iraq, and other conflict zones.
In short, all three types of food insecurity are terrible, with chronic taking the cake. It's awful to be hungry but to be chronically hungry leads to malnutrition and a wealth of other destabilizing issues for a community.
|Little dudes like this aren't too often seen in the village. He's good sized, maybe even a bit chubby, but incredibly healthy.|