Presentation on theme: "George Kent University of Hawai’i. 2 1. Nutrition Problems 2. Widening Gaps 3. Food Trade 4. Rights-based Social Systems 5. The Human Right to Adequate."— Presentation transcript:
10 In 1960 gross domestic product per capita in the richest 20 countries was 18 times that in the poorest 20 countries. By 1995 this gap had widened to 37 times. In 2008 that ratio was well over 75.
11 “... one person in the United States will, by 4 AM in the morning of January 2, already have been responsible for the equivalent in climate change causing carbon emissions that a Tanzanian would take a whole year to generate.”
When poor people work cheaply, others get inexpensive goods. People at the high end are not rushing to solve the hunger problem. For many of them, hunger in the world is not a problem, but an asset. 12
13 Hunger persists because of the powerlessness of the poor and the indifference of, and exploitation by, the rich.
14 WHY HUNGER PERSISTS The powerful have the capacity but not the will to address the problem. The powerless have the will but not the capacity.
Concentration of Wealth and Power Subsidies Foreign interests take the benefits from agriculture in poor countries Grabbing Land and Sea Free Trade Agreements Food Trade Remedies 15
16 Trade does not benefit the trading parties equally. The party with greater bargaining power is likely to benefit more. This means that trade contributes to widening the gap between the strong and the weak. This explains why the the strong are vigorous advocates of free trade. The weak are more likely to benefit from self-sufficiency.
Rights are enforceable claims to something Human rights are “fundamental entitlements of persons, constituting mean to the end of minimal human dignity and social justice (Weiss, Forsythe, and Coate 1994).” At its core, a human right is a claim against government, a claim that the government must do specific things to further human dignity. 17
A. Rights-holders and their rights B. Duty-bearers and their obligations C. Mechanisms of accountability Recourse mechanisms; institutional arrangements to ensure that duty-bearers do what they should do for rights holders. 18
Participation Accountability Non-discrimination Transparency Human dignity Empowerment Rule of law 19
Global Recognition of the Right to Food The Human Right to an Adequate Standard of Living Food in International Human Rights Law General Comment 12 Voluntary Guidelines Dignity: Dignity comes from providing for oneself, not from being fed. 20
By definition, safety net programs establish a lower limit to how far people are allowed to fall by providing services to those who are most needy. 24
Methods of HFP Beyond Primary Production Cautions Networking Using the Internet Community-based Food Production The Role of Government Political Significance 25
26 Being able to produce your own food is a kind of safety net. With that protection, the quality of life cannot be pushed below a certain limit. No matter how prices might fluctuate in the marketplace, comfort can be derived from being able to produce food at one’s own home. Where salaries are too low, people with thriving gardens can say “no, thank you”.
27 “Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you no longer own him.” J. Di Chiarro
30 Maybe hunger persists not because the powerful don’t know how to fix it, but because they don’t care enough about it. Maybe looking to the rich and powerful for solutions to the hunger problem has been a mistake. Maybe the poor should instead detach from the rich wherever they can, and create their own strong communities. Maybe these communities could then become sanctuaries, places to which those subjugated by the powerful can escape.
While localizing food production might have advantages, it is more important to localize and democratize decision-making. 31
Autonomy Trade when beneficial Local control Self-rule Food Sovereignty Swaraj Autarky Minimum trade Local production to meet local needs Economic isolation Swadeshi 32 SELF-SUFFICIENCYSELF-RELIANCE
33 The major objective should be self- reliance, not self-sufficiency. Importing and exporting food is fine so long as local people have made a fair and informed judgment about what serves their interests.
34 Malnutrition occurs in a social context. The extent to which people suffer from hunger and other forms of malnutrition depends on how they treat one another.
35... in the ethical progress of man, mutual support not mutual struggle—has had the leading part.
36 In strong communities, in which people care for one another’s well being, people don’t go hungry.
37 “... as a rule, the individual in primitive society is not threatened by starvation unless the community as a whole is in a like predicament. Under the kraal-land system of the Kaffirs, for instance, "destitution is impossible: whosoever needs assistance receives it unquestioningly. No Kwakiutl ever ran the least risk of going hungry.”
38 People living in strong communities do not exploit one another. They do not steal from each other’s gardens. They talk with each other about their concerns. They care for each other.
39 That more people do not slip into poverty is no small wonder. The view held here is that we have our communities to thank. The strength of such communities can be found among family members, helpful neighbors, church groups, and among understanding colleagues and superiors in the workplace. When a community functions well, it is because of the active solidarity among its members. People look out for each other, help each other... When individuals slip into poverty it is not simply because they have run out of money - it is also because their community has failed. For poverty to be effectively addressed, it must be addressed at the local level, at the community level. Tibor Dessewfy and Ferenc Hammer, Poverty in Hungary. http://www.hrea.org/erc/Library/Critical_Choices/poverty.html
Deficiencies in money land, water, fertilizer, skills etc. matter, but for ending hunger, maybe the most important is the deficiency of caring.
41 The Hunger Project Millennium Villages Intentional Communities MLK’s Beloved Community Community Gardens Community Supported Agriculture Worker Cooperatives (Mondragon) Entrepreneurial Programs (Micro Finance, India’s Dairy Cooperatives)
Nutrition Policy Councils brings together stakeholders from diverse food-related areas to examine how the food system is working and propose ways to improve it. An NPC may be a governmental advisory body on nutrition issues, or it may be a grassroots network, a non-governmental organization. 42
43 The overall objective of these councils should be to ensure good nutrition for all, under all conditions.
At global conferences on food and nutrition, the focus has been on the formulation of national plans of action, not a comprehensive global plan of action. Until recently, global conferences have not given enough attention to the role the international community must play if hunger is to be sharply reduced. 46
A serious strategic plan is one that can be expected to result in achievement of the goal. There is no serious global planning currently underway for dealing with large-scale malnutrition. There never has been. It is not that the effort has failed, but rather that there has been no serious effort. 47
There is a need not for top-down planning or bottom-up planning, but joint planning. The rich and the poor should work together in planning to end hunger in the world. 48
Nutrition policy at every level should be guided by the principle of subsidiarity, “the principle that each social and political group should help smaller or more local ones accomplish their respective ends without, however, arrogating those tasks to itself.” Nothing should be done at a higher level that can be done as well or better at a lower level. 49
NPCs could complement and support one another. Higher level NPCs should provide technical advice and coordination services according to the wishes of lower level NPCs NPCs at lower levels could provide information and recommendations to those at higher levels. 50
51 The task is to work out an appropriate division of responsibilities, with the localities taking the leading role. The principle of subsidiarity provides the basis for the central role of local self- reliance in ending hunger worldwide.
52 Given decent opportunities, few people would allow themselves, their families, or their neighbors to become seriously malnourished. There is a need to ensure that everyone has those opportunities. We can’t make hunger end. The task is to surround people with opportunities, and let it end.
53 If we find a way to ensure the health of every cell and every organ of the global body, based on how they are managed from within and also from the outside, we will have solved the hunger problem.