This week, civil society representatives launched the fifth annual report on the right to food and nutrition titled “Who Decides About Global Food and Nutrition? – Strategies to Regain Control”. In the launch they made it clear: it is impossible to combat the causes of hunger while keeping existing power relations untouched. “Food and power are related. It is almost impossible to find one person among the powerful in society and politics worldwide, who does not have enough to eat,” said Huguette Akplogan-Dossa, the Regional Coordinator of the African Network on the Right to Food (ANoRF). “The tendency is for exclusion from economic and political decision-making to go hand in hand with incidence of hunger and malnutrition.”
The global report outlines a number of examples of violations of the right to food and nutrition provoked by the current food system: from forced evictions and land grabbing by companies or corrupted members of governments, as illustrated by the articles on Mexico and on the Arab Spring, to inappropriate food supply programs or speculative investments in agrofuels, described in the articles on Bangladesh, Paraguay and the Philippines.
Lalji Desai, a pastoralist leader and dear friend of mine, explained:
“We can no longer accept chronic hunger or food riots being portrayed as consequences of natural disasters or anonymous market failures. The terrible living conditions for hundreds of millions of people actually are caused by the loss of control over their food and nutrition, and that’s why we struggle for our right to self-determination and food sovereignty.“
You can download the report here