ood insecurity is a global threat. The nature of food and the means of its production make food insecurity a uniquely complex problem with social, political, economic, and ethical dimensions. Serious efforts to promote food security must respond to the complexities of the challenge. At the national level, Middle Eastern countries have attempted to address food insecurity risks through food subsidies, export bans, price ceilings, and other policy measures. Others, particularly Gulf Cooperation Council (“GCC”) states, have sought to bolster food security by acquiring farmland overseas. Acquisitions of overseas farmland and land-use rights by Arab countries and other parties have not been without controversy. The acquisition of agricultural land to produce food exclusively for the benefit of acquirer countries is legally and politically risky. As a region, the Middle East has not explored its potential to sustainably bolster food security by marshaling its combined monetary, natural and human resources for the long-term benefit of its inhabitants. It is in the region’s best interest to identify and pursue strategies to bolster food security, through increased regional production and other means, in ways that are not only economically, legally, and environmentally sustainable, but also are politically, socially, and ethically sound.
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