How can we mobilize the political will necessary to put policies for hunger reduction and improved nutrition higher on the list of political priorities?
Hunger reduction and better nourishment are not high on the agenda of policy makers. The problem is not one of knowledge about nutrition and hunger, policy are well aware of the importance but they fail to take into consideration what impact better nutrition and freedom from hunger has on higher priority objectives . These include high priority objectives such as poverty reduction, literacy improvement and health improvement.
policies makers often believe that if these objectives are achieve, problem such as hunger reduction and better nourishment well correct themselves , for example with the improve income individuals will have better nourishment and cure hunger. What most policy maker s fails to take into consideration is the implications variables such as hunger and nutrition have on achieving high priority objectives such as literacy improvement.
For example policy makers would design policies to improve school accessibility to children, but fail to take into consideration what can impact attendance and performance in school. These factors are usually seeing as exogenous factors in the eyes of policy maker and can be self-corrected if these larger objectives are achieved. In Guyana students, especially at the primary level usually eat breakfast on their way to school. This is not one of high nutritional content usually a cheap aerated drink and biscuit. Some even attend school without breakfast and just a small pocket change for lunch which is similar to the breakfast mention above. Most families cannot afford a more nutritious breakfast, which tend to have great impact on student’s attention span, problem solving abilities and forgetfulness, which greatly hinder academic performance. This would affect academic attainment which also has great implications for poverty reduction, since education is the key to escape poverty for and be self-sustainable not only for Guyanese but most people living in poverty around the world.
Therefore we would recommend a more join policy approach where policy makers design polies and are encourage to incorporated variables such as nutrition and hunger. This could be done by sharing success stories and research findings of programmes that have work jointly on achieving a major objective. For example the school snack programme implemented by ministry of education in Guyana “Mention by final economic student group one”. There is also the school uniform programme which was also implemented by the ministry of education. These too programmes implemented together would have a greater impact on improving literacy in Guyana which is one of the major objectives of the government. The school uniform programme has improve poor families ability to send their children to school while the school snack programme aid in better nutriment and reduce hunger which helps to solve some of the problems mention above that is associated with hunger and academic performance. This is just one example of how policies makers can be encourage placing hunger reduction and better nourishment higher on the list of objectives.
Related links and resources:
The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012
Millennium Development Goals
The World Food Summit 1996
Food Security Governance and the Right to Food
From Protection to Production
The FSN Forum is supported by the project Coherent food security responses: incorporating right to food into global and regional food security initiatives.