GENERAL PRINCIPLES AND INITIAL GUIDELINES FOR NATIONAL ALLIANCES AGAINST HUNGER
A. Going forward with the international alliance against hunger
B. Common characteristics
C. Purpose and aim
D. Composition of the national alliance
E. Activities of the national alliance
F. Brief examples of national alliances
Since the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) approved to operationalize the International Alliance Against Hunger (IAAH), with an emphasis at the national level, some 50 countries have expressed an interest in building a national alliance for their country. Your country is one them. Understandably, the various national alliances are at different stages of development, have different approaches and carry out different activities.
The common characteristics of the international and national alliances against hunger are:
The purpose of a national alliance is to facilitate policy initiatives, reforms and implementations at local and national levels by which the poor and hungry are enabled to achieve food security on a sustainable basis. The IAAH has the following aims, as stated in the documents of the 2003 Committee on World Food Security (CFS):
The Alliance should bring together existing groups, organizations and structures, when possible, as the foundation of building the national alliances, such as: National Thematic Groups of the UN System Network on Rural Development and Food Security, UN Country Committee, FAO National WFD Committees, and other existing national coordination mechanisms, NGOs, civil society organizations, private sector, as well as other national and international partners. Among these groups, there should be good representation from farmers, consumers, international organizations, agri-business, scientists, academics, donors community, private individuals, religious groups, non-governmental organizations and local or national administrations.
The activities of the National Alliance Against Hunger (NAAH) can be:
Your reaction to the possible activities that can be developed by a National Alliance Against Hunger in your country are welcome. In order to collect detailed information on existing coordination mechanisms at national level, which could collaborate toward the establishment of an Alliance, please note that a questionnaire is being prepared, that will be sent to you in February, in the framework of an evaluation of the UN System Network on Rural Development and Food Security. Countries are encouraged to use this opportunity to provide useful information on their situation and/or share their ideas on how to better coordinate activities and strengthen the political will to fight hunger at national level.
For information, below are some examples of national alliances:
In Burkina Faso, a national alliance was officially created on 9 October with 20 organizations of the civil society. A "bureau" of the Alliance has been appointed with the Catholic Organization for Development and Solidarity (Organisation Catholique pour le Développement et la Solidarité - OCADES) (President), the Confederation of Burkina Faso Farmers (Confédération Paysanne du Burkina Faso - CPF) (Vice-President), the National Centre of Arts and Performances (Centre National des Arts et Spectacles Audiovisuels - CENASA), the National Press Office (Office National de la Presse - ONAP) and the Association of African Communication Professionals (Association des Professionnelles Africaines de la Communication - APAC), the Amicale des Femmes Forestières du Burkina (AMIFOB) and the Burkina Faso Consumers Organization (Organisation des Consommateurs du Burkina - OCB). Recent activities include participation in the "Journée du Paysan" (Farmer’s Day) on 19 December, the preparation of a plan of action for 2004 and the drafting of statutes and internal rules of the Alliance. The Alliance also met with staff of the West African Economic and Monetary Union to discuss possible links with other countries in the region.
In Madagascar, a national alliance has been launched with the participation of several national and international organizations, including the NGOs SEECALINE, Caritas Madagascar and CRS; national projects; FAO, ILO, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, WFP and the World Bank. A brochure, distributed internationally for World Food Day 2003, was prepared to present the objectives and members of this national alliance. The national alliance is working closely with the national Thematic Group of the UN System Network on Rural Development and Food Security.
In Italy, under the sponsorship of the Presidency of the Italian Republic and with the participation of many ministries, national institutes, city councils, universities and schools, libraries, museums, NGOs and media, numerous events have been organized to support the International Alliance Against Hunger in the framework of the 2003 World Food Day. These include seminars, roundtables, exhibits, competitions, cultural events in Rome and other cities in the country. Special emphasis was laid on the fact that the three main UN agencies working on food and agriculture (FAO, IFAD and WFP), plus IPGRI, are based in Rome and constitute the core of the international work to fight hunger. NGOs were also very active, notably through the organization of a roundtable on 16 October at FAO Headquarters grouping NGOs, CSOs and governments.
In the United States of America, a national Alliance to End Hunger was proposed by Bread for the World Institute in May 2002 and formally organized in January 2003. The alliance includes advocacy organizations, the association of food banks, research and policy institutions, foundations, religious groups and the private sector. The purpose of the Alliance to End Hunger is to engage diverse institutions in building public will to end hunger in the United States and worldwide.
The US Alliance has done a series of public opinion polls that show strong support in the United States for ending hunger. The alliance celebrated World Food Day in 2003 by helping with the World Food Prize Symposium in Iowa, releasing data on how Iowa and New Hampshire voters view the issue of hunger, and working to get candidates for U.S. President from both parties to speak out about hunger. Bread for the World and some other organizations in the alliance also played a role in winning in January 2004 a 33 percent increase in U.S. funding for poverty-focused development assistance. Bread for the World is a member of More and Better, an international NGO coalition that is pushing for more and better development assistance for agriculture, rural development and nutrition, and the U.S. Alliance to End Hunger works closely with the International Alliance Against Hunger.
In Asia, a roundtable was organized on 17 October 2003 by the FAO Regional Office for Asia and Pacific in Bangkok which conceptualized an Asia-Pacific Alliance Against Hunger. The NGO/CSO International Planning Committee, together with other stakeholders, are called upon to become partners in this effort.