The collaboration

Efforts to eradicate hunger in the region are supported by FAO through the collaboration of its various projects and its coordination of the Hunger-Free Latin America and Caribbean Initiative. Proposed in 2005 by the Former Presidents of Brazil and Guatemala, the Initiative was defined in 2006 as a priority for FAO’s action in the region. In December 2008, during a first held regional summit, the leaders of all Latin American and Caribbean countries decided to combine efforts in support of the Initiative.  For achieving its final goal, the Initiative works in line with the project GCP/GLO/297/SPA Coherent Food Security Responses: Incorporating Right to Food into Global and Regional Food Security Initiatives which assists the CARICOM Secretariat to develop capacities and tools for integrating the right to food into regional policies and plans. A necessary element for the success of both, the Initiative and the project, is the inclusion of civil society as a stakeholder and contributor to the eradication of hunger. For that reason, both collaborate with the Project GCP/GLO/294/SPA Support to the Strengthening of FAO’s cooperation with Civil Society in reinforcing the participation of CSO/NGO partners in the development of regional food security and nutrition frameworks. In this manner decision making processes become more inclusive and legitimate.

The strong cooperation among these projects facilitates a coordinated and comprehensive support towards the realization of the right to food in the Caribbean region.

The Caribbean Community

The signing of the Treaty establishing the Caribbean Community, Chaguaramas, 4th July 1973, was a defining moment in the history of the Commonwealth Caribbean. The objectives of the Community, identified in Article 6 of the Revised Treaty, are: to improve standards of living and work; the full employment of labour and other factors of production; accelerated, coordinated and sustained economic development and convergence; expansion of trade and economic relations with third States; enhanced levels of international competitiveness; organisation for increased production and productivity; achievement of a greater measure of economic leverage and effectiveness of Member States in dealing with third States, groups of States and entities of any description and the enhanced co-ordination of Member States’ foreign and foreign economic policies and enhanced functional co-operation.

The Human Right to Adequate Food

Acknowledging that isolated and sectoral interventions are not enough to eradicate hunger and malnutrition, food security governance requires the adoption of a comprehensive approach based on the respect and fulfillment of human rights as interdependent, indivisible and interrelated. In 1996, at the World Food Summit, Heads of State and Government reaffirmed “the right of everyone to have access to safe and nutritious food, consistent with the right to adequate food and the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger.”

The right to food is realized when every man, woman and child, alone or in community with others, has physical and economic access at all times to adequate food or means for its procurement. It has been recognized in international law and it is explicitly contained in article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), adopted on 16 December 1966 and ratified so far by 160 States. This implies for States to respect, protect and fulfill this human right. In order to reach this objective, policies at global, regional and national level should tackle the social, political and cultural root causes of hunger. Its implementation requires coherent and coordinated responses addressing a wide range of sectors including agriculture, education, justice, health, trade, and the delivery of public services.

In order to provide further guidance, in 2004, after two years of discussion and negotiations, the FAO Council adopted by consensus the Voluntary Guidelines to Support the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security. This practical instrument cover the full range of actions to be considered by governments at the national level in order to build an enabling environment for people to feed themselves in dignity and to establish appropriate safety nets for those who are unable to do so.

Support to the Strengthening of FAO's Cooperation with Civil Society

In 2009, participants in the Madrid Conference, the CFS session on reform and the WSFS 2009 affirmed the need for improved global food and agriculture governance to succeed in the fight against hunger and malnutrition, reform policies, and adopt new strategies towards achieving these goals.

GCP/GLO/294/SPA is a capacity-building project meant to achieve MDG1, reducing hunger and poverty.
The project is funded by the Royal Government of Spain and executed by the FAO.

It aims at strengthening FAO’s alliances with civil society, people’s organizations and non-governmental organizations to have an incidence on food and nutrition security policies. The project will focus on improving access to information as well as building capacity in the areas of analysis and advocacy, particularly for those organizations representing marginalized groups such as smallholder farmers, agricultural workers, rural woman and youth.

The Hunger-Free Latin America and Caribbean Initiative

The Hunger-Free Latin America and Caribbean Initiative is a joint effort of countries, organizations, socially responsible businesses and societies working to completely eradicate hunger and malnutrition and guarantee food security in the region within one generation. It is an ambitious but reachable goal. At the countries’ request, the HFLAC Initiative is supported and coordinated by FAO.

Proposed in 2005 by the President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and the former President of Guatemala, Óscar Berger, the HFLAC Initiative was defined in 2006 as a priority for FAO’s action in the Region. In December 2008, the leaders of all Latin American and Caribbean countries decided, in their first ever regional summit, to “combine efforts in support of the Latin America and the Caribbean without Hunger 2025 Initiative”.

Today, Latin America and the Caribbean are at the forefront of the development of the Right to Food, placing the fight against hunger within a legal and sustainable institutional framework and in the context of the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Cooperazione Italiana

GTFS/RLA/141/ITA Promoting CARICOM/CARIFORUM Food Security

The overall objective of the project is to improve the food security situation of the CARICOM/CARIFORUM states at different levels through strengthening the food policy environment and support services to promote efficient and sustainable food systems.

The project is the second phase of ‘’Promoting CARICOM/CARIFORUM Food Security’’ and a core part of the Caribbean Regional Programme for Food Security. As studies undertaken during the first phase of the project show, the challenges faced by CARIFORUM in ensuring food security and addressing broader welfare objectives come from different sources, including smallness, vulnerability to natural disasters, a changing economic environment characterized by a lack of international competitiveness and loss of preferential markets and a rules-based approach to agricultural policy.

The project supports the development of a regional CARICOM/CARIFORUM food security policy and the role of the agricultural sector herein by strengthening the capacity of the CARICOM Secretariat in providing food policy advice and guidance to member governments, and by building up regional and national capacities of associations along the value chains of non-traditional agriculture commodities from production to a range of domestic, regional and export markets.