Development Dialogue

Development Dialogue is a language of contemporary discourses on human development which aims to stimulate each entity of the society for a new history of humanity. It stands for communicating the problems that people face and hence is more value-based than other units of human life. Envisioned with better quality of human life it admires the imagination of ordinary citizens, their daily concerns and necessities and circulate these elements in policy articulation.

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An essay on the right to food 

Eating is a basic biological necessity for human beings. When a person does not get adequate food, he suffers from hunger. Hunger has a harmful effect on human health and on the quality of life. Malnutrition is the main cause of many deadly diseases. The lack of nutritious food halts the  psychical and intellectual development of hundreds of children. The fight against hunger has long been recognized as an important goal for the international community. The first Millennium Development Goal (MDG) commits to halve between 1990-2015 the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.  However, the number of undernourished people has increased over the past years. According to statistics, there was  around one billion  undernourished people worldwide in 2012. Africa, Asia and South America face the biggest food-related problems. 

International law recognizes the right to food  as a basic human right. It aims to  protect the right of all human beings to feed themselves in dignity, either by producing their own  food or  by purchasing it. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) the right to food does not imply that people should be given food for free.  However, it implies that enabling environment should be created, so that people could produce food or access it through the market. To purchase food, a person needs sufficient incomes, consequently, the right to food requires states to ensure employment and social protection policies enabling citizens to realize their right to food. Furthermore, if people cannot get food due to the reasons beyond their control e.g. after a natural disaster, the government or international community should provide food to ensure their survival.

The right to food is enshrined in several international treaties. “The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights” recognizes the “fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger”. The right to food is also stated in 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights,  Convention on the Rights of the Child and others. There are also a number non-legally binding resolutions, declarations and recommendations concerning the right to food. In 2012, the Food Assistance Convention was adopted requiring  it’s signatories to  provide at least a minimum amount of food aid for those in need.

Despite these legal efforts, the hunger still persists today and millions of people cannot exercise their right to food. Why? Firstly, most international commitments are not legally binding. Even after signing them, states may not implement these commitments fully or lack adequate resources to put them into force. Furthermore, the reason of world hunger is not a scarcity of food, but the unequal distribution of food and the lack of access to it by deprived persons. Experts claim that sufficient food is available or could be produced from current resources globally,  even in those countries where large numbers of people suffer from malnutrition. Wars, natural disasters, the concentration of resources in the hands of a small group of wealthy people-all these reasons may limit the access of the poor to food.  No doubts, that bad governance, corruption, mismanagement of resources are  also among the major causes of hunger and poverty in many countries of the world.


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