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Singapore’s food security seen at heavy risk from climate change

[TOKYO] Singapore, home to some of the planet's most affluent people, shouldn't have to worry about going hungry -- except when you factor in the threat of climate change.

The city state ranks top of the Global Food Security Index, a gauge of more than 100 countries developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit and supported by Corteva Agriscience. But when that's adjusted for the impact of climate change, and water-related risks such as rising sea levels, Singapore, which imports almost all of its food, drops 11 places in the rankings, according to a press release from Corteva.

Singapore, Ireland and the US were rated the top three in food security for a second straight year, despite new metrics this year such as food costs, infrastructure and nutritional standards. When the impact of climate change and depletion of natural resources are included, "all countries suffered a drop in their overall scores, highlighting the vulnerability of global food systems against threats such as drought, flood and rising sea levels," Corteva said.

But nations heavily dependent on food imports saw their rankings decline significantly. While Singapore was down 11 places, the United Arab Emirates fell nine spots and the Philippines eight, according to the release.

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The index report also found that more than 30 per cent of countries have insufficient amounts of Vitamin A, needed for normal vision, a healthy immune system and organ functionality. Around a quarter were deficient in zinc, vital for a functioning metabolism and immune system. It also showed food prices are rising worldwide, with Venezuela and Syria seeing the sharpest increases.

The insights revealed by the report "allow all stakeholders in the food ecosystem to clearly understand the current challenges that are hindering our progress towards a more food-secure world," said Dana Bolden, Senior Vice President of External Affairs and Sustainability at Corteva.

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