Why let 925m die of hunger when world has enough food to feed all
Pakistan’s 20 million flood-affected people are new addition to the already millions of food insecure people due to disaster, conflict and land-grabbing
ISLAMABAD, October 7, 2010: Food and nutrition policies and politics due to bad governance risk 925 million people suffer chronic hunger in a world that has enough food to feed all, warns international food rights group in a report titled ‘Right to Food and Nutrition Watch 2010’ released here on Thursday by Pakistan chapter of an international food rights group -- FIAN Pakistan.
Pakistan’s 20 million flood-affected people are new addition to the already millions of food insecure people due to disaster, conflict and land-grabbing, growing food insecurity challenges for governance.
The ‘Right to Food and Nutrition Watch’ is the first and only international periodical review that monitors actions of state actors related to the realisation of the right to food and nutrition. The report, second in the series, which has been simultaneously launched in more 20 countries, including Pakistan, calls for a profound turnaround in international food and nutrition related policies.
“Wrong policies and bad governance of food and resources in Pakistan lead to poverty and marginalisation, which in turn create vulnerabilities to conflict and militancy, natural calamities and food insecurity,” said Dr. Abid Suleri, executive director of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and member of the FIAN Pakistan group.
In this context, the report ‘Right to Food and Nutrition Watch 2010’ pins hopes on far-reaching governance reforms of the global food system initiated in 2009. According to it, these reforms are a ray of hope for millions of hungry people in the world. In particular, the consensus to establish a more participatory Committee on World Food Security (CFS) as the one global platform for coordination is an important step forward. However, the new CFS needs to show its effectiveness by taking strong action against land-grabbing and speculation in food commodity markets and by mainstreaming nutrition into global strategies against hunger.
The report says the dramatic increase in land-grabbing (large-scale land acquisitions of international investors) in the name of corporate farming and building industrial zones is alarming. It shows as to how land-grabbing aggravates hunger in Africa, Asia and Latin America by leading to eviction of peasant communities from their main source of livelihood. During the last three years, between 20 and 50 million hectares, have fallen into international investors’ hand, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Right to Food and Nutrition Watch makes a strong call to hold governments and international actors to account under international human rights law by monitoring the effects of national and international policies and investments. When politicians or companies are found to be responsible for generating hunger, their actions need to be investigated and adequate measures must be taken.
Published annually, the Right to Food and Nutrition Watch is a powerful tool to put pressure on policymakers at the national and international level to take the human right to food and nutrition into account. It provides a platform to human rights experts, civil society activists, social movements, the media and scholars to exchange experiences on how best to carry out right to food and nutrition work, including lobbying and advocacy.