Hunger and malnutrition are a consequence of injustice and discrimination. Today, more than 2,3 billion people do not have access to adequate food, which is more than 30% of the global population.
Food production and consumption are increasingly dictated by big industry, with many governments turning a blind eye. As a result, profit is being prioritized over our own human rights and nature.
It is this, together with the uneven distribution of land and natural resources, ecological destruction, sexism and racism – to mention just a few – that explains why so many people face hunger and malnutrition.
But, we believe that they are fully preventable.
Since it was founded in 1986, FIAN International has been advocating for the right to food and nutrition. We support grassroots communities and movements in their struggles against right to food violations. Through our national sections and networks, we work in over 50 countries around the world.
To explain who we are in a nutshell:
- We expose the social injustice behind our food systems, from growing and harvesting to procurement. The issue is not only what you eat, but how it is produced.
- We struggle for an egalitarian distribution of resources, so people can feed themselves. We don’t provide food.
- We fight for fair access to food. We don’t promote the increase of food production: There is already enough food to feed the entire world.
- We work with a wide network of social movements and civil society actors around the world. We don’t go solo.
- Affected communities tell us what the problem is and we bring their voices to policy spaces. We don’t speak for them. They know best!
- We see food as something more than to keep us alive. We see food as part of our own identity and cultural legacy.
- We encourage the mobilization and organization of people who want to change the world.
Frequently asked questions
On the one hand, the current political context lies behind every meal we consume. Hundreds of decisions made through food politics are constantly influencing our lives. Be by our cultures, local authorities, national and international laws, or aggressive advertising, we are conditioned when it comes to eating. Behind the increasingly influence over our diets are large corporations, which more and more determine what it is on our plates. Without realizing, we might be prioritizing processed, fortified food, instead of fresh vegetables and fruits. Have you ever wondered why?
But on the other hand, we can proactively try to understand the world that surrounds us, the environment we depend on, and take action. Not only can we consciously make better choices when it comes to food, but we can also become politically active in a way that it contributes to the protection of all people’s human rights and nature. This brings us to the following question.
While the tomato we buy at the local market might have grown in a sustainable way for the environment and might have contributed to the local economy of small-scale producers, the tea we are buying at the supermarket may drag a history of exploitation to tea plantation workers near our homes or on the other corner of the world. These options entail very different choices. If you want to be active against social injustice, this could be just the start. Yet, there is much more to do.
The right to food is more than a condition. It is the right that every human being has, alone or in community with others, to be free from hunger and malnutrition, to have physical and economic access at all times to adequate food – in quality and quantity – that is nutritious and culturally acceptable. It is also about our right to access all means for its procurement, like land, water and seeds, in a sustainable and dignified manner, while ensuring the highest level of physical, emotional and intellectual development.
As you see, food security is just an element of the right to food. Behind every violation of our right to food there is social injustice that needs to be tackled.
Transition to just and sustainable food systems is a must. This means moving from a focus on food as a commodity to a focus on food as commons embedded in socio-ecological and cultural contexts, putting people and peoples at the center, social equity and justice, striving for a democratic control over natural resources and wealth strengthening knowledge and skills of the small-scale food producers, working with nature and not against it, valuing food providers, reducing distances between food providers and consumers thus localizing food systems and strengthening local control of how food is produced and distributed.
But that totally depends on us. From fostering and buying at local markets and participating in food councils, to standing up against the violation of human rights of all people, we can prevent that 821 million of human beings go hungry every day. We can speak up against the dominant food supply chains that lead a billion more to suffering malnutrition, and advocate for sustainable and local food systems that makes us and nature healthy.
FIAN International believes that there is hope and tries to address all root causes of hunger and malnutrition, often unnoticed. You can become politically active in your community to support the struggle for the right to food, support our work, or all at the same time!