UN launches ‘toolbox’ to help nations ensure access to food as basic human right

23 October 2009

The United Nations today took a step towards helping the billion people around the world suffering from hunger achieve access to adequate food with the publication of a ‘how-to’ guide providing the tools for governments, institutions and civil society to assert this basic human right.

The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has released a comprehensive six-volume set of guidelines, which it calls a “toolbox,” containing hands-on advice on monitoring the right to adequate food, as well as identifying and classifying vulnerable groups suffering from hunger and food insecurity.

There are also a large number of recommendations in the “Right to Food Methodological Toolbox” on planning, implementing and monitoring public allocations and expenditures on food access on a national level.

FAO said that the publication comes at a time when scores of countries are seeking a way to incorporate the right to food into their legislations, strategies, policies and programmes.

“The right to food is not a utopia,” said Barbara Ekwall, FAO’s right to food team leader. “It can be realized for every woman, man and child, even in times of crisis.”

Ms. Ekwall stressed that the legal framework exists in the form of international, regional and national human rights standards, but to “make the right to adequate food a reality for all, action at country level is essential. It is there that the difference will be made for those who are suffering from hunger.”


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