The problem of food and nutrition insecurity in the region has been widely studied in Latin America and the Caribbean. However, despite the progress achieved in the last four decades, much work remains in the effort to eliminate food and nutrition insecurity in the region. In light of the changes triggered by rising food prices and the global financial crisis, and the new challenges they present, the WFP Regional Office has asked ECLAC to begin a new line of work to strengthen analysis of the issues involved. ECLAC is to develop technical documents and venues for collaboration and joint analysis. In this context, the present document seeks to set forth some bases for discussion. It includes a brief summary of the region's socioeconomic, environmental and food situation, the challenges posed by the current international and regional scenario, the impact of this scenario on the region's most vulnerable groups, and some proposed approaches for intervention. This paper is the result of a joint initiative by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean and the World Food Programme. It aims to analyse and disseminate the information available on hunger and undernutrition in the context of the current crisis. The paper examines the socio-economic risks and consequences of the rise in food prices, the international economic crisis and climate change and how these are affecting food security and nutrition levels among the vulnerable populations of Latin America and the Caribbean.