Program of Brazil-FAO International Cooperation

Support for National and Subregional Strategies for Food and Nutritional Security and Overcoming Poverty in Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean

In Latin America and the Caribbean many countries are making an effort to reduce hunger and malnutrition. The total number of people who suffer from hunger has dropped significantly in the region, from 68.5 million in 1990-92 to 34 million in 2015. However, the challenge of completely eradicating this serious social issue is still great, thus validating the strengthening of various strategies for Food and Nutritional Security (SAN) and overcoming poverty in the region.

The most well-known regional experience, which serves as a reference point for other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, has been the "Zero Hunger" strategy; created by the Brazilian government in the year 2003, when food security was placed at the center of the government´s agenda. In the year 2014, Brazil reached its goal of not only reducing the percentage of people who suffer from hunger by half, but it also reduced by half the percentage of those who suffer chronically from this condition. While from 1990-92, 14.8% of people suffered from hunger in Brazil; that number fell to levels below 5% during 2014-2016.

Another important initiative in Brazil in the fight against hunger is the program Brazil without Extreme Poverty, which aims to eradicate extreme poverty in the country; based on the successful approach that links the policies for family farming with social protection in a highly inclusive manner, with the government carrying out an active search of beneficiaries.

Institutionally, the Ministry of Social Development and Fight Against Hunger of Brazil (MDS) stands out as a leader, initiator and articulator of public commitments to the implementation of various public policies responsible for the success in those areas.

The Project

The project focuses on the development of agendas for Food and Nutritional Security (FNS) between the various political and social actors involved, governments and civil society; promoting the institutionalization of multisectoral policies; in other words, stimulating spaces and mechanisms for governance for private-public action in the fight against poverty and food insecurity. The project therefore aims to contribute to food and nutritional security and poverty alleviation for the most vulnerable populations in Latin America and the Caribbean, strengthening national and subregional strategies and supporting the development of innovative policies for FNS.

Areas of work of the project


  • The strengthening of spaces for permanent dialogue with civil society, using a multisectoral approach within the governments in terms of Food and Nutritional Security (FNS) and overcoming poverty. Many countries are placing emphasis on strengthening the design and implementation of policies of FNS in a participatory manner, seeking the involvement of organized civil society. There is a growing demand among participating countries to territorialize these spaces for dialogue at the municipal level or other subnational levels, for the purpose of strategic planning. Furthermore, the project assists the countries with technical support to strengthen their multisectoral strategies in the fight against hunger.
  • The strengthening of public policies for food and nutritional security to improve the processes for economic inclusion. In the participating countries, this translates into support for programs of public purchases from family farming by the government, as well as support for promoting home consumption, as well as urban and rural crops destined for families in situations of food insecurity, especially organic or agroecological farms. The goal is that these projects will support the institutionalization of national programs or policies.
  • Support for systems of monitoring, assessment and information on the topic of FNS, based on requests from the participating countries for the development and improvement of their systems. The idea is that these systems also possess a multisectoral character, starting with the design and management; for example the collection, processing, analysis and use of the information to be carried out in an integrated manner with the different sectors. The project also involves the design and implementation of systems for monitoring and follow-up of national policies and plans for food and nutritional security, to assess the implementation of government mechanisms.