Food aid is causing problems – We need to look to food sovereignty
Today is World Food Day and we are launching a new report based on evidence from indigenous peoples’ experience of food aid.
The Ashaninka community who we work with in Peru experienced an increase in malnutrition despite food aid programmes designed to prevent hunger, which could have implications for programmes around the world.
The report, ‘Killing us With Hunger: Indigenous Perspectives on Nutrition, Food Aid and Food Sovereignty in The Central Amazon of Peru’ gives voice to the people on the front line of the global hunger crisis.
- Food aid programmes that provide food from external sources are having a devastating impact on communities by undermining local agricultural production.
- Food aid programmes that bring in food from external sources rely on the global market, leaving poor communities vulnerable to volatile markets while they themselves do not have the purchasing power to participate in the markets.
- Food programmes that do not involve target communities in planning risk making huge errors such as using inappropriate foodstuffs.
- A ‘food sovereignty’ policy framework which supports small scale farmers would ensure adequate, safe and nutritious food.
A spokesperson for the Ahaninka community told us:
“The government, by giving us things, is killing us with hunger….you eat and empty a can of tuna, and the next day, what are you going to eat? Tuna doesn’t produce more food. You could plant it, but nothing would be produced. But, at least for now, if the government was able to provide seeds that could grow, we could plant that.”
Read the report to find out more about the problems with food aid, and why food sovereignty is a preferable approach.