World Food Day – Time to remember the politics of Hunger.

15/10/2011 at 8:46 am 1 comment

16 October is World Food Day.

Time to have a look at the massive issue of Hunger, the face of Poverty.

Irish NGOs believe that tackling hunger in the longer term can only be achieved by tackling the underlying social, political and economic causes of poverty and vulnerability.

Many donors get very excited about technical fixes to the issue of Hunger. In this line of thinking, world hunger can be solved by increasing food production, through technical means (e.g. improved seeds,

We in the Irish Development NGO movement would argue, however, that Hunger is about much more than not having enough to eat. In fact, now and in the past, Hunger is a political problem, and a problem that can be solved through political means.

“Hunger” is not about an absence of food. Hunger is about poor people not being able to access food in sufficient quantity and of sufficient quality – Either because they cannot afford it or because they cannot physically get to it (eg. in situations of conflict).

In consequence, programmes that aim to eradicate the scandal of Hunger must address issues not just of availability, but of access. And those more often than not relate to political, not technical issues.

That, in itself, is not a problem. We just need to acknowledge the political nature of what we do, and act accordingly.




Entry filed under: Development Effectiveness. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Making Aid More Effective: Base it on People Power! Development Results: “Irish Aid values hard won change and not just ‘quick wins’.”

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