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With the rapid growth of Africa’s urban population has come an explosion of informal settlements on the fringes of most cities. These settlements are marked by high rates of formal unemployment, grinding poverty, heavy reliance on the informal economy, poor health outcomes, very limited basic services provision, and heightened vulnerability to climate change. They are also areas with high levels of individual, household and community food insecurity. They are not, however, food deprived. The proximity of supermarkets and open markets, and a vibrant informal food sector, all make food available. The problem is accessibility. Households are unable to access food in sufficient quantity and quality, and with sufficient regularity. Recent studies of food insecurity in African cities have suggested that low-income residential areas, and informal settlements in particular, can be viewed as “urban food deserts”. Food deserts are conventionally defined as urban areas where residents do not h...

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