Policy Support and Governance Portal

Parliamentary Alliances

Hunger is on the rise, with nearly 821 million people suffering from chronic undernourishment. Meanwhile, other forms of malnutrition, such as overweight and obesity, are becoming more prevalent in both developed and developing countries. Parliamentarians have a critical role to play in ensuring that food security and nutrition remain high on political and legislative agendas.

Parliamentary alliances to end hunger and malnutrition.

Collaboration between parliamentarians can strengthen political will and increase impact. FAO promotes exchanges of good practices, legal frameworks, public policies and experiences. The Organization supports parliamentarians in developing specific national laws, provides technical information and statistics, and creates fora for dialogue and exchange. Examples of ongoing collaborations with parliamentarians include the Parliamentary Front Against Hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean, the FAO-Parliamentarian Friendship League in Japan, the European Parliament’s Alliance “Fight against Hunger”, the Pan-African Parliament and the ECOWAS Parliamentary Network.

Key policy messages

  • Everyone has a right to adequate, safe, sufficient and nutritious food, and to freedom from hunger. Evidence shows that where strong political will translates into public policies and programs that are anchored in legislation, the indicators on food security and nutrition improve significantly.
  • Political will is fundamental to eradicate hunger and malnutrition. Parliamentarians are best placed to ensure food security and nutrition are at the top of political agendas, and to drive change, pass laws, oversee budgets and direct public policy.
  • Collaboration between parliamentarians can strengthen political will and increase impact. Connecting parliamentarians across regions can empower them, facilitate work and ensure continuity during periods of governmental change. For example, the Parliamentary Front against Hunger (PFH) in Latin America and the Caribbean has helped to produce four framework laws (e.g. on family farming, school feeding, and the right to food) and over 20 national laws on food and nutrition security since its formation in 2009.
  • Eradicating hunger is not just an agricultural issue, but a cross-sectoral effort involving focus on multiple sectors (e.g. economic, planning, education, health, gender, infrastructure, industry and commerce, social protection, environment). Nonpartisan collaboration at national level can help build political trust between parties. In Chile, parliamentarians worked with the scientific community to introduce a law on food labels, in response to rising rates of overweight and obesity. 
  • Parliamentarians have an important role to play in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as regional initiatives (e.g. the Malabo Declaration for a hunger free Africa), to end poverty and hunger. Parliamentary alliances are one important collaborative mechanism to achieve these goals. 

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