COMMITTEE ON WORLD FOOD SECURITY
Rome, 23-26 May 2005
INTERNATIONAL ALLIANCE AGAINST HUNGER
Burkina Faso: The Alliance Nationale de Lutte Contre la Faim (National Alliance for the Fight against Hunger) - Established
France: Alliés contre la faim (Allied against Hunger) – Most recent alliance
Guatemala: Frente Contra El Hambre (Front against Hunger) – Emerging alliance
Indonesia: National Alliance Against Hunger
Jordan: National Alliance Against Hunger
USA: US Alliance to End Hunger
1. The idea of creating an International Alliance Against Hunger (IAAH) was incorporated in the June 2002 Declaration of the World Food Summit: five years later (WFS: fyl). Entitled International Alliance Against Hunger, the Declaration of the WFS: fyl, recognized “the urgent need to reinforce efforts of all concerned partners as an international alliance against hunger, for the fulfilment of the 1996 Summit”. It called “on all parties (governments, international organizations, civil society organizations and the private sector) to reinforce their efforts so as to act as an international alliance against hunger to achieve the WFS targets no later than 2015.”
2. At its 29th Session in May 2003, the Committee on World Food Security (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.
3. In line with these decisions, IAAH partners focused initial efforts on fostering national alliances; activities at global level have been pursued with this primary objective in mind.
4. At its 30th session in September 2004, the CFS reviewed a document reporting on activities of the IAAH to promote national alliances. The Committee noted and welcomed the progress report regarding the International Alliance Against Hunger (IAAH). It was informed that some eighty countries had developed or expressed their interest in developing a national alliance. The Committee acknowledged the involvement of the Secretariats of the Rome-based agencies (FAO, IFAD, IPGRI and WFP) and the NGOs; the appropriate use of information technology; and noted that a strategy paper for the alliance was also nearing finalization.
5. The Committee called on governments, and on all others concerned with combating hunger, to continue to use all means possible, including national alliances in their countries, to fight hunger. The Committee recalled that the CFS is a forum of the UN system which deals with world food security; the IAAH complements the activities of and reports to the CFS.
6. This document reports on the progress that the IAAH has made since its previous report to the CFS. It focuses especially on actions taken to expand and develop national and regional alliances; to expand and develop activities at the global level; and on concrete and practical actions taken by the alliances. The IAAH Secretariat, currently housed in FAO, has prepared this document as the second annual progress report of the IAAH to the CFS. The comments and views of CFS members on this report will guide the IAAH in its future plans.
7. A number of initiatives have been taken to foster and promote national alliances since the report of the IAAH to the 30th session of the CFS by the IAAH Secretariat and the 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. Some of the most important of these are summarized below.
8. A High-Level Dialogue was held on 22 September 2004 as a Side Event to the 30th session of the Committee on World Food Security. At this event civil society leaders and Member Countries’ national alliance leaders discussed the development of the International Alliance Against Hunger as a leading global, political and moral force to end hunger Two panels discussed the experiences of selected national alliances, how they might be organized and what their role should be. Four models were presented for building a National Alliance Against Hunger: joint public/private sector partnership (Brazil), civil society-led (Cameroon), government-led (Philippines), and civil society-led with government participation (United States of America). The discussion produced useful insights on ways to improve the IAAH draft Strategy to better reach the goals of the IAAH.
9. The Strategy Paper sets forth the basic principles and aims of the IAAH: the IAAH is a voluntary association of international organizations and National Alliances Against Hunger (NAAH) who share a common commitment to the rapid eradication of hunger in the world and who know that their actions will be all the more effective by working together. Membership is open to all – governments, civil society organizations, social and religious movements, private sector and international organizations.
10. The only obligations on members are that, upon joining the IAAH, they subscribe in writing to the basic principles and aims of the IAAH, provide information about their mandates and existing activities which demonstrates their engagement in the campaign to end hunger now, indicate how they intend to contribute to the work of the Alliance and make time-bound commitments (Ending Hunger Pledges) to undertake specific actions for which they will hold themselves accountable, reporting periodically to the Alliance on the extent to which they have fulfilled their pledges.
11. The aims of the IAAH are to contribute to the achievement of World Food Summit and Millennium Development Goals, especially by:
12. Following the 2003 World Food Day, which was dedicated to the International Alliance Against Hunger and promoted joint activities by the Rome-based agencies, World Food Day 2004 (16 October) was organized around the theme of Biodiversity. The Rome-based Working Group led the effort in the organization of the World Food Day Exhibit on this theme and an International Youth Forum held on the occasion of World Food Day. Karen Serres, President of the Women Farmers Committee of the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP) stressed that although women are fully aware of the importance of biodiversity “... as long as their families go to bed hungry and struggle to survive, protecting biodiversity will remain a basic necessity difficult to afford”.
13. The International Youth Forum, which brought together 70 young people representing ten organizations in three continents, contacted all associations in order to create a “Youth Forum against Hunger and Poverty” that would constitute FAO’s focal point for the youth dialogue and commitment at the global level.
14. IAAH supported the launch of the Hunger Task Force Report of the Millennium Development Project on 18 January 2005 by issuing a press statement with contributions from the Rome-based UN food agencies (FAO, IFAD and WFP). Civil society representatives gave their support to the recommendations of the Hunger Task Force, in a statement prepared by the Ad Hoc Group of International NGO representatives to the FAO, with inputs from several Alliance partners including ActionAid, the Brazilian National Food and Nutritional Security Council (CONSEA), the Burkina Faso National Alliance Against Hunger, the International Youth Forum for the World Food Summit, Rotary International, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, and the United States Alliance to End Hunger. Their support was meant to call attention to the need to build public awareness and strengthen public advocacy in the fight against hunger in both developed and developing countries.
15. A Side Event, consisting in two seminars, was organized at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil (26-31 January 2005) by the Brazilian Civil Society Forum for Food and Nutritional Security (FBSAN). One of the seminars focused on the potential role of civil society in influencing governments in the implementation of policies and strategies for hunger and poverty reduction. The other seminar provided an opportunity for existing national alliances to share their success stories with other groups interested in forming or participating in national alliances (Brazil, USA and Burkina Faso). The Secretary of the IAAH addressed the seminars, providing an overview of the background and current situation of the IAAH. The Forum provided a unique opportunity for the International Alliance to establish personal contacts with civil society organizations, networks and national alliances and plan the regional coordination of NAAHs.
16. The IAAH Secretariat has continued to maintain and update an inventory of existing national alliances and an electronic database for recording information about national alliance initiatives.
17. The International Alliance Secretariat has developed a Handbook for National Alliances Against Hunger, published in January 2005. This offers simple step-by-step information on how to form a national alliance. It also recognizes that national alliances will move forward at different paces, will have differing approaches and commitments to a variety of activities. Thus the handbook includes background on potential compositions of the national alliances, lists the types of activities that would be encouraged and provides sample cases of already existing alliances.
18. The focus of the International Alliance Against Hunger and of National Alliances Against Hunger is on practical action. Ending Hunger Pledges are intended to underpin this action orientation. In making an Ending Hunger Pledge, an Alliance member is declaring a commitment to achieve a time-bound goal as its contribution towards eradicating global hunger. Members will hold themselves accountable for achieving the goals which they set. Making an Ending Hunger Pledge – even a very modest one – is a condition for membership of the Alliance at any level. The idea of Ending Hunger Pledges is consistent with the Millennium Development Goals which have similar precise time-bound goals. The Ending Hunger Pledge provides a means of translating the time-bound global World Food Summit Plan of Action and Millennium Development Goals – especially those for hunger and poverty reduction – into local institutional commitments. The International Alliance Secretariat has developed a suggested format for Ending Hunger Pledges included with the handbook.
19. The IAAH website, www.iaahp.net, was launched during the Salon International de l’Agriculture in Paris on 1 March 2005, at the same time as the official launch of the new French National Alliance “Alliés contre la Faim”. The new website is designed to be a forum for exchange of information among the partners of the IAAH and the national alliances, providing space to share information about activities and progress of the International Alliance partnerships, allowing national alliances to share progress or questions with each other and to bring international visibility to their work. It has been developed in strong connection with the website of the UN System Network on Rural Development and Food Security.
20. The IAAH secretariat has also continued to publish a newsletter with information on events and the activities of NAAHs. The third issue of the newsletter was published in January 2005. The newsletters are available on the IAAH website.
21. A principal function of the IAAH is to nurture the emergence and growth of strong National Alliances Against Hunger (NAAHs) in both developing and developed countries, which will adhere to the same principles. NAAHs are encouraged to enter into direct linkages with each other and to provide mutual support for each others’ activities within the IAAH framework.
22. As of January 2005, 89 countries had expressed interest in forming Alliances, an increase over the 81 countries that had expressed such an interest as of the 30th session of the CFS in September 2004. A dozen had established their national strategy plans and 34 more were moving forward rapidly. A list of active national alliances is given in Annex 1 together with a map. Annex 2 lists countries that have only expressed interest in establishing a national alliance.
23. The impetus for forming a national alliance can come from a local NGO, from an international partner or from the national government itself. Once formed, there are no set rules or requirements to follow. The national groups organize themselves according to their own situations, set their own targets in the form of an Ending Hunger Pledge, establish their own deadlines and reporting systems, and lay out the steps they will need to move forward according to what they feel are the most urgent and solvable needs in their countries.
24. Some examples of the different structures, priorities and practical actions of national alliances that are emerging and/or are already operational in different regions are shown below.
25. The Alliance Nationale de Lutte Contre la Faim (National Alliance for the Fight against Hunger), as reported to the 30th session of the CFS, has a membership of 20 civil society organizations and some others are asking to join the alliance which has gained visibility. Members of the alliance are currently managing 21 micro-projects. The alliance has sponsored workshops on adding value to wildlife, forestry and fishery products in partnership with the Telefood Club of the University of Ouagadougou and organized a stand during the Sommet de la Francophonie. It has developed an Ending Hunger Pledge until December 2007, making the following commitments: to expand the alliance by at least one large institution a year; to conduct an advocacy campaign to highlight the nutritional value of the local products each year; to mobilize at least US$ 1,000 each year for the financing of micro-projects proposed and led by rural organizations; and to assist ten rural organizations in managing the loans for their micro-projects on food security each year. Burkina Faso has expanded its leadership role by helping and encouraging neighbouring countries to establish strong alliances.
26. In October 2004, on the occasion of World Food Day, the French National FAO Committee organized a meeting inviting all the French organizations and institutions having a special interest in eradicating hunger to join their efforts to create a National Alliance Against Hunger. They answered the call to action and established a NAAH. The French NAAH is organized in 10 committees: development NGOs, emergency NGOs, farmers’ organizations, media, ministries, parliamentarians and local authorities, political parties, private sector, research and education, trade unions; each one selects a delegate to represent them in the coordination committee. The alliance is co-chaired by government and civil society. On 26 January 2005, the first meeting of the French National Alliance decided to name itself “Alliés contre la faim” and discussed the next steps towards enhancing the process. The official launch of the Alliance took place on 1 March 2005 at the FAO stand of the Salon International de l’Agriculture. The committees organized a dozen debates on the occasion of the Salon; all seminars were well attended and the stand was visited, among others, by French President Jacques Chirac and the Director-General of FAO, Jacques Diouf.
27. The new government that took office in January 2004 is implementing an initiative to fight hunger called Frente Contra El Hambre (Front against Hunger). President Oscar Berger Perdomo, in one of his first declarations on taking office, recognized that Guatemala has a serious problem of poverty and food insecurity and announced a decisive government action to reduce these. Guatemala has thus distinguished itself as the second country in the Latin American region, after Brazil, to officially recognize a problem of hunger and to launch a campaign against this problem. President Berger has appointed several commissioners to coordinate plans and actions at the inter-ministerial and inter-institutional level including the Commissioner Against Hunger whose task is to coordinate actions to eradicate hunger through the Front Against Hunger, elaborating actions to be taken by the government, civil society, private sector and international donors.
28. An Indonesian peasants’ organization is leading the effort to implement the NAAH, and has contacted the Minister of Agriculture with the aim of developing a joint effort between government and the farmers’ organization. Efforts are also being made to involve fisherfolk in the alliance. The Indonesian alliance is expected to play an important role in the reconstruction of the country and in encouraging similar efforts in other Asian countries affected by the tsunami. The organizing group in Indonesia has reached out globally seeking solidarity from the international community to support farmers and fisherfolk and their communities. It has recently organized a meeting with donors.
29. During the 2003 World Food Day celebration, a national workshop entitled” International Alliance Against Hunger” recognized the need for a NAAH and recommended its establishment. The Princess of Jordan accepted to have the Alliance under her patronage.
30. A National Advisory Board for the NAAH has been set up to formulate policies, programmes and projects; to institutionalize national efforts in the field; to coordinate with the IAAH; and to represent Jordan in the regional and international forums concerned with food security. A Technical Committee, with members from governmental organizations, UN agencies and the Farmers’ Union, is tasked to translate policies of the National Advisory Board into programmes, projects and activities. With the technical support of FAO the plan of action of the NAAH was finalized and connected with national policies consistent with the national poverty and hunger reduction strategy. One project the national alliance is supporting is the Special Programme for Food Security in the country.
31. A Workshop on the International Alliance Against Hunger was organized in October 2004 with speakers from the Jordanian Ministry of Agriculture, the Farmers’ Union, university and research institutes, women’s groups, students, and the media.
32. The Alliance to End Hunger is now established as a non-profit corporation in the United States and recently held the first meeting of its board of directors. Much of the work of the alliance in 2004 centred on making hunger an issue for political candidates and working with alliance member groups and coalition partners to expand their advocacy and education efforts. Initiatives by alliance members included a full-page advertisement that highlighted American public support for ending hunger, paid for by Sodexho USA, a founding member of the alliance. Another alliance member, America’s Second Harvest: The Nation’s Food Bank Network, held a series of town hall meetings on hunger, inviting political leaders in key cities to engage in a real dialogue about solving hunger in the USA.
33. The USA Alliance also continues to participate actively in the meetings of the International Alliance Against Hunger and the More and Better Campaign. Over the past year, groups as diverse as churches, charities, educational institutions, business corporations and many others have joined together to help end hunger in the US and worldwide.
34. Several international partners of the IAAH are interested in supporting the implementation of NAAHs in Latin America. Private sector, NGOs/CSOs organizations and networks as well as the UN Agencies would support the implementation of NAAHs in selected countries through a regional alliance, starting with three selected countries. The experience would then be extended to neighbouring countries. A strategy document for the Latin American Regional Alliance is being drawn up.
35. The strongly committed and action-oriented Food Security Coalition in Brazil has expressed interest in twinning with Haiti in order to help establish a National Alliance Against Hunger in Haiti. Brazil will assist Haiti to improve food security through natural resource management and sustainable local development. A Protocol of Cooperation has been signed between the Ministers of Agriculture of Brazil and Haiti that provides the framework for the cooperation between the two countries, identifying areas of intervention. During the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre in January 2005, the coordinator for food security in Haiti met with the president of the Brazilian National Council for Food and Nutrition Security (CONSEA) to explore the possibilities for future cooperation.
36. As set out in its Strategy Paper, the IAAH is focusing its global activities around four major pillars: Advocacy, Accountability, Resources Mobilization and Coordination. Types of activities include:
37. The IAAH Secretariat is currently provided by the Office of the Special Adviser to the Director-General of FAO on Follow-Up to the World Food Summit. Guidance and assistance are provided to the Secretariat by the IAAH Working Group, composed of representatives of its founding members. Some founding members are also contributing staff and resources to enable the Secretariat to operate and expand. Extra-budgetary funding will be sought to expand the global and national activities. The founding members are the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI) acting on behalf of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and the World Food Programme (WFP) – as well as the International NGO/CSO Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty (IPC) and the Ad Hoc Group of International NGOs in formal status with FAO.
38. The Alliance also works in close collaboration with the UN System Network on Rural Development and Food Security which is also housed at FAO. Although the UN System Network’s mission is technical in nature and the Alliance’s mission is political, the two mechanisms share complementary goals and have the potential for sharing information, experiences, good practices and lessons learned.
39. The main priorities of the IAAH in the coming months are:
40. The IAAH Secretariat is seeking extra-budgetary resources from bilateral and multi-lateral donors to implement the following objectives within the next years:
41. In its review of this document, the CFS is asked to give particular attention to the following issues:
Latin America & Caribbean:
2. Burkina Faso1
5. Côte d’Ivoire4
13. Sierra Leone1
26. Dominican Rep.4
28. El Salvador4
|Asia & Pacific:||32. Jordan2|
|16. Indonesia3||North America:|
|17. Laos3||33. Canada3|
|18. Nepal1||34. USA1|
|Botswana||Papua New Guinea|
|Congo, Dem. Rep. of||Senegal|
|Cook Islands||Solomon Islands|