Urbanisation in low and middle-income nations presents both opportunities and immense challenges. As urban centres grow rapidly, inadequate housing and the lack of basic infrastructure and services affect a large and growing proportion of their population. There is also a growing body of evidence on urban poverty and its links with environmental hazards. There is, however, limited knowledge of how these challenges affect the ways in which poor urban residents gain access to food and secure healthy and nutritious diets. With some important exceptions, current discussions on food security continue to focus on production, with limited attention to consumption. Moreover, urban consumers are typically treated as a homogenous group and access to food markets is assumed to be sufficient. This paper describes how, for the urban poor in low and middle-income countries, food affordability and utilisation are shaped by the income and non-income dimensions of poverty that include the urban space.
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