COMMITTEE ON WORLD FOOD SECURITY
Rome, 20-23 September 2004
INTERNATIONAL ALLIANCE AGAINST HUNGER
Annex I: Countries where Governments and/or Civil Society Institutions have expressed Interest in Establishing a National Alliance against Hunger as at 30/06/2004
Annex II: Joining Forces to End Hunger and Poverty: A Statement of Three Rome-based Food Agencies (FAO, IFAD and WFP) on the Occasion of the Meeting of their Executive Heads with French President Chirac, Paris, 1 March 2004
1. The idea of creating an International Alliance against Hunger (IAAH) to reinforce efforts of all parties (governments, international organizations, civil society organizations and the private sector) to achieve the World Food Summit targets no later than 2015 was incorporated in the June 2002 Declaration of the World Food Summit: five years later; all parties were encouraged to promote coordinated action and the CFS was charged with monitoring progress, in line with its mandate as focal point for the implementation of the WFS Plan of Action. At its 29th Session in May 2003, the CFS considered a document setting forth some basic principles for making the IAAH effective. Support for the IAAH amongst CFS members was widespread, and it was agreed that the CFS could serve as a reporting forum for the IAAH. It was stressed that the IAAH should take into consideration good examples of national alliances and should give energy and leadership to those alliances that already exist. Hence the IAAH and national alliances should be promoted together.
2. In line with these decisions, IAAH partners have focused initial efforts on fostering national alliances; activities at global level have been pursued with this primary objective in mind. This document reports on activities of the IAAH to promote national alliances since the 29th Session of the CFS, presents brief descriptions of the start-up activities of selected national alliances that could serve as examples for others, summarises complementary activities that are being pursued at global level, and lays out planned activities for the next 18 to 24 months. The IAAH secretariat, currently housed in FAO, has prepared this document as the first annual progress report of the IAAH to the CFS. The comments and views of CFS members on this report will guide the IAAH in finalising its future plans.
3. To follow up on the guidance given by the CFS, the IAAH secretariat brought together an informal, Rome-based working group, comprised of representatives of FAO, IFAD, IPGRI, WFP, the International NGO/CSO Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty (IPC), and the Ad Hoc Group of International NGOs in formal status with FAO. Members of this informal working group have taken a number of steps individually and collectively to foster and promote national alliances. Some of the more important of these are summarised below.
4. Thus far, governments and/or civil society institutions in 81 countries have already established a National Alliance, or have expressed interest to do so. The full list of these countries is shown in Annex I. Because most national alliances have just been formed, it is still early to identify those that might represent models of best practices for others to follow. However, certain features have already begun to emerge that may be noted here. First, there is considerable variation in the ways in which the national alliances have been established, and in the organizational structures that have been put in place. Second, the priority action areas that have been selected for initial support differ, dictated in part by conditions specific to each country where an alliance is being formed, and in part by the interests of the organizations and individuals who have provided initial leadership. Third, several national alliances are building on previous collaborative partnerships that have already been formed to advance the cause of a world free from hunger. Examples are Freedom from Hunger Campaign Committees, TeleFood Committees, World Food Day Committees and national Thematic Groups of the UN System Network on Rural Development and Food Security. Fourth, some countries that have expressed interest in the work of the IAAH are providing information on their ongoing programmes to reduce poverty and hunger, but do not plan to establish formal alliance structures as such. Fifth, in several instances the national alliance is reaching beyond its borders to advocate and promote action to end hunger worldwide.
5. Some examples of the different structures and priorities that have begun to emerge among national alliances that are already operational are shown below.
Brazil’s Zero Hunger Programme (Programa Fome Zero) was introduced by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva following his election in 2002. It is a multi-faceted initiative aimed at reducing hunger and poverty in the country. Fome Zero is managed by a network of interconnected bodies and alliances in charge of different levels of coordination and monitoring, under the overall management of a new Extraordinary Ministry and a National Council for Food and Nutrition Security (CONSEA). The National Council is comprised of 13 ministers of state, 11 observers; 38 civil society representatives, and a wide regional representation, it is presided on by a trade union representative.
The programme calls on states and municipalities to establish Local Councils for Food and Nutrition Security. These are local alliances of public sector institutions and civil society organizations concerned with the social inclusion of undernourished people. Using a twin track approach, the local councils help people to survive and support community activities aimed at solving hunger and poverty problems on a long-term basis. Examples of local actions that have been funded to date include: food voucher scheme, literacy courses, cisterns, family farming and food purchasing projects, food banks, integrated action programme in semi-arid region, school meals and meals for workers, school gardens, and community actions against hunger. Some are included in the national programme; others are planned by local alliances. At national level government organized the second national congress on food security, which provided an occasion for wide consultation in the country on the national strategy on food security.
President Lula has worked internationally to establish a solidarity fund to reduce hunger and poverty, engaging both G8 members and UN agencies in a common political effort to face hunger and poverty worldwide. On 30 January 2004, he signed a joint declaration in Geneva with French President Jacques Chirac, Chilean President Ricardo Lagos and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, proposing creation of a working group to identify financing mechanism and mobilize political will to accelerate progress on eradicating poverty and hunger. At a follow-up meeting in March between Executive Heads of FAO, IFAD and WFP and President Chirac, the three Rome-based food agencies distributed a supportive joint statement on “Joining Forces to End Hunger and Poverty” (see Annex II for the full text). During the high-level segment of ECOSOC on “Resources mobilization and enabling environment for poverty eradication in the context of the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010”, held from 28-30 June 2004 in New York, a plea was made for implementation of this proposal.
Burkina’s Alliance Nationale de Lutte Contre la Faim (National Alliance for the Fight against Hunger) was officially created on 9 October 2003 as a civil society organization with an initial membership of 20 organizations. Leadership for the alliance is being provided by the Catholic Organization for Development and Solidarity, the Confederation of Burkina Faso Farmers, the National Centre of Arts and Performances, the National Press Office, the Association of African Communication Professions, the Friends of Women Foresters, and the Burkina Faso Consumers’ Organization. The Alliance has drafted its own statutes and internal rules, and prepared a plan of action for 2004. The focus of its activities is on publicity and sensitization on food security issues.
Since October 2003, the Alliance has had its own page in the quarterly magazine ONU PANORAMA. It has been represented at National Farmer’s Day 2003, opening ceremonies for a soap factory established by a women’s group in a poor quarter of Ouagadougou, and ceremonies to formalise the creation of a student Telephoto Club at the University of Ouagadougou. It is organising a series of events to draw attention to the value of forest, wildlife and fishery products at the end of June 2004 and is planning a festival on “Femmes, Fruits et Deux Roues” with a similar objective. The Alliance leadership has proposed establishing partnerships with other national alliances with a view toward joint participation in various high-level events to be held in the West African sub-region later in 2004.
In Cameroon, Caritas International, through its local affiliate, Fondation Ndjeng, is piloting the application of the twin-track approach in a community development project in Sanaga district, a rural area that is particularly affected by increasing poverty and food insecurity. The major aims of the project are to:
Fondation Ndjeng owns a rural site that hosts the project and will become a permanent training centre focussed on good agriculture practices (livestock, crops) and good environmental management (water, forestry and fishery).
The Local Alliance against Hunger in the Department of Sanaga Maritime in the Province of Littoral has been formed to reinforce the Caritas initiative and enhance collaboration at local level. Besides Fondation Ndjeng, other partners include the Diocesan Centre for Support to Community Development, local Farmers’ Organizations, and the Association of Traditional Chiefs in the District of Pouma. The FAO Representative is also part of the process. Those who joined the Alliance with already existing projects have committed themselves to making a joint effort to coordinate all activities. The Alliance is conceived as a pilot initiative, to be evaluated and extended to other regions and incorporated in the National Strategy for Food Security, if successful.
ANCHA was formed in February 2003 as a government initiative, with broad-based participation from all sectors of society. ANCHA is composed of 37 members coming from Government, intergovernmental organizations (FAO, WFP) and civil society (private sector, NGOs/CSOs, trade unions, farmers’ organizations). Although its aims encompass a wide variety of actions to confront current needs and plan mid-to long-term interventions on food security and poverty eradication, an immediate priority for the ANCHA is to combat child malnutrition. The method that ANCHA has chosen to achieve this objective is the organization of a national educational project targeted to primary schools and based on Feeding Minds, Fighting Hunger materials that will be provided by FAO. Various national sensitization and awareness-building activities are also planned.
In Madagascar, the initiative for creating a national alliance came from the FAO Representative, in collaboration with the 2003 TeleFood Campaign organisers (government, UN agencies, donors, international NGOS). The national alliance initiative will build on the existing National TeleFood Committee structure, which involves the participation of several national and international organizations, including representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Assembly, the Office of the Prime Minister, Farmers’ Organizations, 18 regional rural development working groups, Project Secaline, Caritas Madagascar, Catholic Relief Services and 8 UN agencies.
In 2003 the National TeleFood Committee ran a nationwide campaign that quintupled the amount of money raised compared to previous years. In 2004 and beyond the strengthened Committee plans to support year-long campaigns to increase funding for community-based projects. It will work closely with the national Thematic Group of the UN System Network on Rural Development and with the new UN Public-Private Alliance for Rural Development, for which Madagascar is serving as a pilot country.
Syria’s Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform issued Ministerial Decree No. 1852 on 19 October 2003, establishing a National Committee for Fighting Hunger and Malnutrition in Syria. Members include representatives of the Ministries of Agriculture, Economy, Education, Health and Information, the State Planning Commission and the General Union of Women. Although hunger is a problem for only a small minority of the population, Syria is determined to eradicate it completely. The Committee will prepare a national plan for Fighting Hunger and Malnutrition in Syria and organize, with FAO assistance, a National Workshop to discuss and finalise the proposed plan.
The Alliance to end Hunger is a civil society body whose official members are advocacy organizations, associations of food banks, research and policy institutions, private sector, charities, religious groups, foundations, universities, corporations, labour unions, civil rights organizations and individual partners. It has two main objectives: to end hunger in the United States by advocating to make the hunger problem visible and included in national policies, and to support action to eradicate hunger worldwide by reinforcing national and international partnerships.
In 2003 the Alliance conducted opinion polls that showed strong support for ending hunger and developed hunger messages for presidential candidates to use on World Food Day. The US Alliance is currently engaged in a bi-partisan effort to persuade US Congressional and Presidential candidates to make hunger one of the political issues of the forthcoming election campaign. Some of its members are campaigning for legislation to improve and expand U.S. development assistance programmes, while others are working for improvements in child nutrition programmes within the United States. Alliance members have been an influential force behind Congressional adoption of the Millennium Declaration to End Hunger in America and the Millennium Challenge Account to support developing country initiatives to reduce poverty and hunger.
The US Alliance is a contributor to the U.N. Millennium Project, especially the U.N. Millennium Hunger Task Force, and is an important actor in an international NGO network that has been set up to address hunger and poverty world wide by lobbying for “more and better” aid to agriculture. It has also offered to be a partner to developing country alliances in order to help them to build capacity, raise financial support and implement project activities. In this connection, special consideration may be given to countries selected by the Millennium Challenge Corporation as eligible for funding from the MCA, which are currently Armenia, Benin, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Georgia, Ghana, Honduras, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Senegal, Sri Lanka and Vanuatu.
6. The IAAH was formally launched in Rome on World Food Day, 16 October 2003. The informal Rome-based working group put together a World Food Day Exhibit on the International Alliance against Hunger. A civil society event was organized at which representatives of the Network of Peasant Farmers’ and Agricultural Producers’ Organizations of West Africa (ROPPA), Bread for the World Institute; the Campaign against Famine in Ethiopia; the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and the International Association of Agricultural Students (IAAS) gave presentations and participated in an open panel discussion. The commitment of the four Rome-based UN food and agricultural agencies to the Alliance was formalised in a joint statement, “Working together we can stop Hunger”, which was issued on 13 October 2003.
7. Since World Food Day in October 2003, the informal Rome-based working group has agreed to continue as an ad hoc working group to advance the IAAH initiative at all levels. Various IAAH partners have contributed to the following achievements during the period from October 2003 through June 2004.
8. The IAAH Secretariat is provided by the office of the Special Adviser to the Director-General of FAO on Follow-Up to the World Food Summit, with support in the form of staff time provided by other FAO services and the UN System Network on Rural Development and Food Security, and volunteers and funding resources for specific IAAH activities or products provided by various collaborating partners.4
9. Several international NGOs have affiliated themselves with the IAAH, and are actively promoting its aims and objectives through their respective programmes. Two examples are provided by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, (WAGGGS) and Caritas Internationalis. Both organizations have recently signed memoranda of understanding with FAO, covering collaborative activities in areas of common interest.
10. The Plan of Action for implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding between FAO and WAGGGS for 2004-05 incorporates commitments of WAGGGS to develop materials to promote the right to food theme among young people, and to disseminate materials provided by FAO for the implementation of the “Feeding Minds, Fighting Hunger” project to its member organizations. WAGGGS will also encourage its member organizations to increase country projects and activities related to food and nutrition, linked to TeleFood projects when appropriate. WAGGGS has provided volunteer support to the IAAH secretariat during the first six months of 2004, and has sent out a circular letter to all its member organizations encouraging them to facilitate formation of, and participate in, national alliances against hunger.
11. On the occasion of the General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis, held in Rome from 7 to 11 July 2003, the Director-General of FAO and the Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis issued a joint statement inviting the national Caritas organizations to join forces against hunger within the framework of the International Alliance against Hunger. As a result of this and discussions in working group sessions, various areas for collaboration with FAO were introduced into the Caritas 2003-07 work plan in order to promote effective action at national, regional and global levels on several issues of mutual concern. Caritas acknowledged that the FAO Representatives are important catalytic and communication links in encouraging the establishment of National Alliances Against Hunger, and undertook to encourage the participation of its national members in the World Food Day celebrations and in National Alliances against Hunger. Since then, local branches of Caritas have begun to promote the formation of National Alliances in several African countries, in accordance with the specific interests and priorities of the collaborating partners in the countries concerned.
12. International campaigns grouping a number of civil society organizations have also been launched in the spirit of the IAAH. Two of these are the “More and Better” campaign and the “Africa Can Feed Herself” campaign. The first was launched by a coalition of international civil society networks, national non-governmental advocacy organizations and social movements on World Food Day 2003, to lobby for vital changes in policy that would lead to improvements in the quality of development aid for agriculture, rural development and nutrition as well as increases in the amount of aid being provided. The second was launched by a regional farmers’ organization (ROPPA) that operates in ten West African countries. Working under the Alliance’s banner, ROPPA is engaged in an awareness and popular mobilization campaign in favour of supporting small-scale farming to feed Africa. Members also fight to improve the productivity and competitiveness of family-based agriculture in order to ensure access to food and to adequate incomes for rural communities.
13. The objectives and methods of operation for the IAAH during the next 18 to 24 months are discussed in this section under the headings of strategy, membership and secretariat. The views of the CFS members on these plans are invited.
14. During 2004 the IAAH ad hoc working group has been developing a draft strategy paper to guide the evolution of the Alliance over the next few years. Some basic principles that have been developed to guide the drafting of the strategy paper are outlined briefly below. The draft strategy paper is expected to be presented at a Side Event on the International Alliance against Hunger, to be held on the occasion of the 30th session of the CFS. Representatives of FAO Member Nations and other organizations and institutions are expected to take part.
The following possible set of basic principles and aims for the International Alliance against Hunger (IAAH) has been elaborated, consistent with the guidance that has been received from the CFS and Alliance members.
In addition to these basic principles, it is expected that the final strategy document will also include sections laying out elements of the strategy to be pursued for each activity domain at both national and global levels. Activity domains likely to be covered by the strategy include: advocacy, mobilization of human skills and financial resources, promotion of partnerships, direct action, accountability, monitoring and reporting.
15. The International Alliance is still expanding and seeking to reach more partners. During the coming months, the key element for moving forward will be the ability of the different stakeholders to perceive the benefits of cooperation in the design of concrete and coordinated plans of action, where each of them can build upon their specific skills, yet become more effective by working more closely with each other. Amongst the priorities will be to establish procedures for more active participation of national alliances in the work programme of the IAAH, and to develop a broader membership base amongst international organizations and agencies committed to the goals of the Alliance.
16. Arrangements need to be made for the CFS to provide a venue where all IAAH members wishing to do so can participate in an annual open meeting. The agenda for such a meeting could be prepared by the IAAH secretariat in consultation with Alliance members. The event could be held in parallel to the CFS session itself, preferably after the CFS consideration of the IAAH report, so that any guidance given by the CFS could be taken into account.
17. The intent expressed by the current members of the Alliance is that the Secretariat should remain small. For the time being the IAAH Secretariat will continue to be located in FAO and serve as the focal point for communication and coordination among IAAH members. However, it is foreseen that other alliance members will increasingly provide concrete support to the secretariat, including seconding staff and providing technical or financial support, as required. The main functions foreseen for the Secretariat during the coming year include:
18. In its review of this document, the CFS is asked to give particular attention to the following issues:
Countries where governments and/or civil society institutions have expressed interest in establishing a National Alliance against Hunger as at 30/06/2004
3. Burkina Faso
6. Congo, Dem. Rep. of
7. Côte d’Ivoire
22. Sierra Leone
23. South Africa
Asia & Pacific:
31. Cook Islands
36. Marshall Islands
42. Papua New Guinea
45. Solomon Islands
Latin America & Caribbean:
67. Dominican Rep.
69. El Salvador
79. Kyrgyz Republic
JOINING FORCES TO END HUNGER AND POVERTY:
A STATEMENT OF THREE ROME-BASED FOOD AGENCIES (FAO, IFAD, AND WFP) ON THE OCCASION OF THE MEETING OF THEIR EXECUTIVE HEADS WITH FRENCH PRESIDENT CHIRAC, PARIS, 1 MARCH 2004
Overcoming World Hunger and Poverty
Hunger and poverty rob hundreds of millions of people of a full life and threaten global prosperity and stability. Urgent, large-scale action is an imperative. We, the Rome United Nations agencies for hunger and rural poverty reduction, warmly welcome the January 30th “Geneva Declaration” by Presidents Jacques Chirac, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Ricardo Lagos, and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. It provides a new impetus for more far-reaching, coherent and better funded efforts to address hunger and poverty.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) are committed to working together, and with others, to help realize the vision of the three Presidents and the Secretary-General. Together, these agencies represent a large body of expertise in sustainable agricultural development, food security, protection and restoration of rural livelihoods in the face of disasters, financing for rural development and poverty reduction, emergency food aid and safety net management. Collectively, we have significant convening power and support projects throughout the developing world.
With sufficient political will and financial commitment, the goals of the Millennium Summit and of the World Food Summit of halving poverty and hunger in the world by 2015 can still be achieved. We, therefore, welcome the proposal to have hunger and poverty reduction as a central focus of G-8 and G-20 work.
An immediate need is for the commitments made at Monterrey and elsewhere to be honoured and for existing mechanisms and programmes for hunger and poverty reduction, both national and international, to be adequately financed. The proposal to explore innovative means of raising additional resources internationally to combat hunger and poverty is strongly welcomed. We subscribe to the principle of shared responsibility for attaining the global hunger and poverty goal, whereby nations which demonstrate their commitment can be assured of a matching response from the international community.
We are willing to contribute actively to the work of the technical committee for developing proposals for implementing the ideas set out in the Geneva Declaration. We invite this committee to present its recommendations to the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and a joint meeting of the representatives of the three Rome-based agencies.
A Shared Vision on How to Cut Hunger and Poverty
At the International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey in 2002, FAO, IFAD and WFP presented a common strategic vision to achieve the global poverty and hunger goals and are working together and with others towards its implementation especially, for Africa, in the NEPAD framework.
In 2003, the Rome agencies, including the International Plant Genetics Resources Institute (IPGRI), and Non-Governmental Organizations gave new impetus to their collaboration by launching the International Alliance Against Hunger (IAAH), now linked to over 50 National Alliances. Our immediate actions include:
We share the aspiration to have a world free from want and fear and pledge to make our collective efforts against hunger and poverty part of broader efforts to accomplish this.
1 World Food Day 2003 Global Report. FAO, Rome, April 2004.
2 The Millennium Project is a three-year research project which has been charged by the Secretary-General of the UN to devise a recommended plan of implementation that will allow all developing countries to meet the Millennium Development Goals and thereby substantially improve the human condition by 2015.
3 Among the concrete proposals, presented in conjunction by the heads of the Rome-based food agencies to encourage national efforts in the fight hunger, were agriculture production, land and water management, rural infrastructure, community based livelihoods programmes, nutrition programmes and safety nets, including school feeding programmes.
4 A case in point is the contribution of volunteer staff provided by the WAGGGS and its Italian affiliate CNGEI to the assembling of material about national alliance activities and the preparation of a background document on experiences with the IAAH at national level that forms the basis for Section IV of this report.