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Exploring the role of remittances in urban food security: The case of Kingston's Urban Poor

Authors: Robert Kinlocke*, University of the West Indies, Mona, Elizabeth Thomas-Hope, University of the West Indies, Mona
Topics: Food Systems, Urban Geography, Development
Keywords: food security, remittances, migration, urban, Kingtson Jamaica
Session Type: Guided Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


An important dimension of migration and food security nexus may be explored through the diasporic connections between the Global North and South. In this regard, the role of remittances as a safety net for the urban poor is likely to be expressed through various ways in which remittances are utilized, especially as it relates to the provision of food. Based on a survey of 702 households in the city of Kingston, Jamaica, this paper examines the extent to which remittances represent a viable pathway to food security amongst the urban poor. The results revealed that there were no significant differences in food security status when poor households not receiving remittances were compared to households receiving remittances. However, when this relationship was explored further, distinctive patterns emerged which suggested that the amount of remittance received was likely to be more important than whether or not remittance was received. The amount received was found to positively influence both household food access and dietary diversity. Surprisingly the temporal dimensions of food security, did not appear to be affected by remittances. Overall, the findings may have significant implications for the impact of diasporic connections and associated policy insights.

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