Category Archives: News

News on Food Rights

Food, a right for all.

Welcome to the first roundup of world-wide news on Food-Rights and Food security.

1) Announcing the Community for Zero Hunger: Mobilizing a Multi-Sectoral Response to the UN Zero Hunger Challenge:

There are more than 870 million people who are hungry and malnourished around the world. As we look toward 2050, we will have a third more mouths to feed, which will further strain systems, the environment and communities. Building sustainable, specific and multi-sectoral responses to ending hunger, and creating a food- and nutrition-secure world are urgent. Read more

2) The Dangers of Agricultural Subsidies is they never reach the people for whom they were created.

3) Each year, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations releases a report on the State of Food and Agriculture, covering important issues related to global food systems. Here is the 2013 report of the FAO which addresses the issue of food systems and malnutrition.

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Analysis: The right to food in Bangladesh

Floating Guava market. Jhalokathi

Floating Guava market. Jhalokathi. Image by Emdadul Islam Bitu. Copyright Grow.

DHAKA, 22 January 2013 (IRIN) – NGOs in Bangladesh are pushing for a constitutional amendment to guarantee the legal right to access food, or a food security “framework law” that will hold the state liable for any scarcity.

Despite the government laying out its commitment in 2012 to food security “for all people of the country at all times” at least 31 percent of the population still lack nutritious life-sustaining food.

According to the most recently published National Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) from 2011, 40 percent of children are too short for their age (known medically as “stunting”), a harbinger of lifelong development delays and one of the leading causes globally of brain damage. Some 36 percent of the surveyed children in Bangladesh under five were underweight for their age (showing signs of stunting, and/or “wasting” – weighing too little for their height). Continue reading

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Deforestation threatens food security in southeast of Bangladesh

Activists warn food insecurity in southeastern Bangladesh may worsen over the next decade as a result of unfettered deforestation. Abdul Mannan of local NGO Society for Health Extension & Development works with communities in Cox’s Bazar District where, by the group’s estimate, some 400,000 depend on the forest to survive.

Population pressure

“From this 10,000 hectare forest, people manage to extract as much as US$20 million income a year. But the extraction rate is far too high, and the population pressure is too great now,” said Mannan.

“It is not enough income, and it is disappearing fast. I have asked local woodcutters [loggers] how much they would have to walk to work in the past, and it was about 1-2km. Now it is 9-10km. So looking 10 years down the line, they will have to walk 20km, 30km to find wood. If things continue to go this way, then these people’s livelihoods will disappear.”

The $20 million figure sounds lucrative, but is still not enough to support the numbers depending on that cash, said Fariduddin Ahmed, the executive director of Arannayk Foundation, a conservation group based in the capital, Dhaka.

In 2010, the country had an estimated 1,442,000 hectares of forest, 52,000 hectares less than two decades earlier. While official data for forests in the country’s southeast are unavailable, NGOs and residents say forest loss here has been more dramatic.

Both Ahmed and local Rohingya estimate loggers earn less than $2 a day, which they use to feed often sizeable families. While population control has been successful in much of Bangladesh, the southeast remains an exception, said Ahmed.

“In the southeast part of Bangladesh you will see an interesting situation – here the local and tribal people have many children… And these people, to feed their families, most of them have no option but to go to the forest, cut the wood, and sell it,” said Ahmed.

Read more in IRIN Asia News

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