Global Policy Forum

Open Letter: Policies and Actions to Eradicate Hunger and Malnutrition (March 2010)


March 2010



We, small-scale farmers and fisher peoples, pastoralists, women, youth, indigenous peoples, other social movements and civil society organisations, have taken the challenge together to propose policies and actions that would lead to the eradication of hunger and malnutrition in our world.

We strongly believe that the actions to eradicate hunger and malnutrition must be based on a vision of a world where:

• food sovereignty is recognised and implemented by communities, peoples, states and international institutions;
• all peoples, societies and states determine their own food systems and have policies that ensure availability of sufficient, good quality, affordable, healthy, and culturally appropriate food;
• there is recognition and respect for women's rights and their crucial contribution to food provision, and representation of women in all decision making bodies;
• terrestrial and aquatic environments and biodiversity are conserved and rehabilitated based on ecologically sustainable management of land, soils, water, seas, seeds, livestock and aquatic organisms;
• the diversity of traditional knowledge, food, language and culture, are all valued and respected;
• the way people organise and express themselves is accepted and peoples' power to make decisions about their material, natural and spiritual heritage is defended;

We are proposing the policies and actions recognising that hunger and malnutrition have reached outrageous levels in the world today and that this is not accidental. When the prevalence of this scourge is seen in the context of the multiple crises in the world today, it is very clear that existing polices have compounded the problem and that there is a need for a new approach

We have also taken into consideration the known fact that this situation is not a result of a lack of food in the world, as enough food has consistently been produced for decades. Solutions have been, and are being, offered by states and international institutions, in the name of increasing food production and availability, without dealing with the root causes of the multiple crises. They are proposing solutions using the same framework that caused the problems in the first place.

Eradicating hunger and malnutrition requires mechanisms that incorporate social and environmental as well as economic measures. To implement these requires the decisive involvement of the organisations of small-scale food providers and consumers in any policies and programmes designed to address the problems

We welcome the working document, Policies and Actions to Eradicate Hunger and Malnutrition, which outlines our proposals for the needed changes and how these might be realised. The working document contains a number of polices and actions in the following areas:

• Sustainable, ecological food provision and access to territories and natural wealth

  • Environment, climate change and agrofuels
  • Market, trade, price polices and subsidies
  • Ensuring access to adequate food
  • Finance, debt and development aid
  • Governance

We endorse the summary of the working document annexed to this letter with the conviction that it will be useful for governments and institutions and peoples and their organisations in efforts to eradicate hunger and malnutrition and to ensure the attainment of food sovereignty including the human right to adequate food.

The world does not need to stay locked up in a dead-end that only has the potential to lead us into deeper levels of problems. We therefore urge states and international institutions to work with us - the movements of small-scale farmers and fisher peoples, pastoralists, Indigenous Peoples, other social movements and civil society organisations - in a common endeavour to tackle and end the scourge of hunger and malnutrition.

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