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FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean

Haiti takes a decisive step by creating its Parliamentary Front against Hunger

It is the first French-speaking country in the world to have this legislative structure, fundamental to strengthening the right to food.

FAO's Hunger Zero Ambassador Guadalupe Valdez, seen here during her visit to Haiti, was a key supporter of the Parlamentary Front.

6 July 2017, Port-au-Prince - The creation of Haiti's Parliamentary Front against Hunger is a fundamental step towards implementing measures to ensure the right to adequate food, FAO said today.

On Tuesday, July 4th, Haiti’s House of Representatives approved the resolution that officially creates the country’s Parliamentary Front  against hunger, a key legislative space to promote food security laws.

"The role of the legislature is indispensable because of its ability to formulate laws and allocate public resources for the implementation of agricultural and food security policies, backing strategies and programs throughout the country," said Natanael Hishamunda, FAO’s Representative in Haiti.

With this great step forward, Haiti joins the group of 17 countries in the region that already have such groups, and becomes the first French-speaking country in the world to do so.

"We are very happy, it is great news and we extend all our technical support. The front in Haiti will bring together visions from across the political spectrum and create consensus to reverse the current situation”, said Luisa María Calderón, General Coordinator of the regional Parliamentary Front against Hunger of Latin America and the Caribbean.

According to the FAO, 5.7 million Haitians are currently undernourished, and 38.5 percent of the population is overweight.

“The Front will serve to facilitate the implementation of legal frameworks that prioritize food security and nutrition linked to development programs to end hunger,” said Tanis Tertius, Chair of Haiti's Standing Committee on Agriculture and Food Security .

“This initiative will allow the allocation of adequate resources for the formulation and implementation of public policies and programs related to food and nutrition security, with the ultimate goal of facilitating access to adequate and nutritious food," said representative Yves Dupras.

Haiti without Hunger: a regional commitment

The resolution adopted is the result of collective work between national legislators, the Parliamentary Front against Hunger of Latin America and the Caribbean, the Latin American and Caribbean Parliament (PARLATINO) and FAO.

Both FAO's Zero Hunger Ambassador Guadalupe Valdez and the Minister of Agriculture of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Caesar Saboto, subregional Coordinator of the Caribbean Parliamentary Front against Hunger, played essential roles in the creation of the Haitian front, and have pledged their support to strengthen this legislative space.

“It is important that other fronts in the region, including that of the Dominican Republic and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, exchange experiences with Haiti, so that they can organize quickly and become aware of the lessons learned," explained FAO’s Representative in Haiti.

FAO conference: zero hunger can only be achieved with strong support from parliaments

Parliamentarians have a key role to play along with governments, civil society, private sector, international agencies and donors "to achieve a Zero Hunger generation in our lifetime", said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva during at a meeting with lawmakers on the sidelines of the FAO Conference.

Graziano da Silva also emphasized the role of legislators in improving nutrition and food safety and praised them for acknowledging "the need for specific constitutional and legislative provisions to ensure the enjoyment of this human right to adequate food".

FAO is ready to continue to collaborate with Parliaments, the Director-General said, and provide its technical advice and support for countries, within the context of their development strategies.

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