UN expert praises Africa's commitment to the right to adequate foodListen /
The African Union is sending an important signal by using this year's Africa Day for Food and Nutrition Security to buttress the concept of the "right to adequate food" as an organizing framework for policies and strategies to address food and nutrition insecurity on the continent.
This was the message from Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, as food security stakeholders and international institutional actors convened Wednesday in Niger to celebrate Africa Day under the theme "Toward African Renaissance: Achieving the Right to Adequate Food and Nutrition."
He said "It is highly encouraging that the Africa Day focused on how the international human rights framework can strengthen African approaches to food security," adding, "Human rights-based approaches to hunger, involving legal entitlements–to productive resources, to accessing food, to social protection–are making tracks all around the world."
De Schutter stressed that "The right to food is particularly relevant in Africa, where one in five persons is undernourished, with one in four persons in sub-Saharan African." He said "Investment is flooding into the continent's land and agricultural markets, but question marks remain about how this will be turned to the benefit of the 250 million Africans suffering from food insecurity."
And he asked, "Are small farmers–themselves often food insecure–gaining new income opportunities? Are the customary rights of herders being respected? Is enough being done to ensure that adequate food is affordable and accessible to poor urban communities?”
He said "the right to food does not entail a set of policy recommendations to end hunger. Rather, it provides legal protections against developments that threaten people's ability to produce or procure food.”
Donn Bobb, United Nations.