Food for Life Campaign
Almost a billion people in the world face chronic hunger and malnutrition, while well over a billion face the health consequences of obesity. Millions more experience seasonal hunger and malnourishment, and poor diets high in cheap, processed foods are leading to a rise of non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, intestinal cancers and type-3 diabetes. At the same time, between one-third and one-half of all food produced for human consumption is wasted, due to lack of storage and distribution infrastructure as well as through wasteful retail and consumer practices.
These statistics provide glaring evidence of global inequity and the powerful interests that control our food production and distribution systems. Eradicating hunger and ensuring adequate nutrition is, in fact, not about increasing food production – the world currently produces enough food to feed double the current population. It is, however, about the rights of the small food producers – the majority of them women – who represent ninety per cent of all farms worldwide and who produce seventy per cent of the world’s food on less than a quarter of the world’s farmland. Their access to the resources they need for their livelihood and for their community, including land, water and seeds, is essential.
In addition, climate change is increasingly undermining food security. The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA) and other civil society organizations focusing on these issues are working to ensure that decisions taken within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to mitigate the impacts of climate change do not negatively impact global food security, the lives and livelihoods of smallholder food producers or increase competition for their lands.
In its 2013 General Assembly, EAA organizations resolved to work together “on eradicating hunger, promoting adequate nutrition, and striving towards just and sustainable food systems, with a particular emphasis on sustainable agricultural practices and the situation of smallholder producers and their access to and control over natural resources such as land, water and seeds.” This campaign runs from 2014-2017.
Hosted by the WCC since 2015, the EAA:
- Promotes just and sustainable food systems through international policy and practice: The EAA aims to continue to play a leading role among civil society organizations in writing key policy statements and negotiating with governments, UN agencies, multilateral organizations, and private sector representatives. Three main areas of engagement are the Committee on World Food Security, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Global Alliance on Climate Smart Agriculture.
- Promotes adequate nutrition through a rights-based approach and enhancing local food systems: The EAA will particularly focus on the outcomes of the Second International Conference on Nutrition.
- Mobilizes action and reflection for food justice: Through education and action events such as the Churches Week of Action on Food (held in October) and the Fast for Life (held during Lent), the EAA will provide popular action, study and worship resources for Christians and others to promote food justice, address food waste and encourage individuals to examine their consumption patterns.
For more information and to get involved, contact Dr Manoj Kurian, Food for Life Campaign Coordinator.