Re: Addressing food insecurity in protracted crises: adequate and appropriate funding mechanisms

Dr.Joan P Mencher CUNY, United States of America

My work has primarily been in South Asia. Among the lowest 25% of the population (actually even a larger %) food insecurity is quite common. The definition of food insecurity nationally in India tends to leave out a large number of households where the women and children are unable to get enough to eat, especially children too young to go to school (where there might be school feeding) or they are not going to school for a wide variety of reasons. Persistent and chronic under-nutrition and mal-nutrition are rampant. Forced to give up land reform back in the 70s as a result of US influence, India gives a picture to the west of glossy new neighborhoods and fancy food estabishments yet the poor are often denied even ration rice or other things. For example a man who works in an urban area as a rickshaw driver cannot get a free ration for his children because of how the minimum wage is defined, Yet such workers cannot feed their family members, especially the females (girl children and wife) adequately. If the wife works away from home, it will mean the girl child cannot go to school since she is needed for baby care. Clearly local and national policy changes are needed to eliminate food insecurity. World-wide enough food is grown to feed the poor, but without policies to distribute the food in a timely manner, many suffer needlessly. Obviously the UN cannot tell countries what to do, but certainly FAO needs to also include issues of food distribution to the poor in its discussion.