The right to adequate food is a fundamental human right. Yet, violations of the right to adequate food, particularly forced displacement or eviction from their land occur with impunity worldwide, particularly amongst indigenous or marginalized peoples. In times of war, food, food storage and farming infructure are destroyed and food is often used as a political weapon. In many regions, groups are denied access to productive resources - especially women who have no rights over land, even though they are often responsible for the production, processing and preparation of food for their families.
According to the FAO, nearly 1 billion people go hungry every day. Even more people - around two billion people - get enough food but are malnourished because they cannot afford good quality, nutritionally adequate food rich in nutrients. Mothers and fathers struggle to feed their families, knowing that without adequate food, children will be stunted in their physical and intellectual development and may be therefore condemned to a life of poverty and hunger.
Yet hunger is not inevitable, or a simple fact of life. It is the direct result of human actions and policies. The current global food crisis, for example, is caused by national and international policies that have rapidly pushed up global food prices. And, as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food argues, the poor are hungry and malnourished not because there is no food, but because they cannot afford to buy the food that is available - especially when prices have risen so radically. Focusing attention on the human right to adequate food should be at the center of government policies.