Food Aid

What is the contribution of food aid and development cooperation to the realization of the right to food?


The right to food means providing access to adequate nourishment at all times; when a region is afflicted by a crisis such as drought or armed conflict, the ability of its inhabitants to produce or to acquire food can be severely threatened.

Food aid and development cooperation often play a key role in warding off food shortages. But both emergency provisions in the short term and development support in the long term must be delivered with a view to handing food sovereignty back to the stricken populations. Only when they have the resilience and local capacity to secure their own continuing access to food will the right to food have been realized.

Food aid and development cooperation have been under increased scrutiny in recent years, and both approaches are in need of reform. How can we re-orientate them by better integrating a perspective grounded in the human right to adequate food? What should be done?

The Special Rapporteur looks at the three levels: defining the obligations of donor States; identifying the tools these policies rely on; and evaluating such policies, with a view to their continuous improvement.

Read The Guardian (Intl)"Hunger is a taxing problem for the G8" (15-06-2013)
Read The Guardian (Intl)"Food banks can only plug the holes in social safety nets" (27-02-2013)
Read 09/03/2009: "The role of development cooperation and food aid in realizing the right to adequate food: moving from charity to obligation". Report presented to the Human Rights Council.
Read Report on expert seminar "The Impacts of the Food Aid on the Human Right to Adequate Food". Ottawa, Canada, 6 November 2008.
Read Working paper prepared for the Global Donor Platform (November 2008)