Commentary

Food for All Needs Attention Claims OXFAM

Tourists and Others in the San Pedro Food Market of Cuzco (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

Food is basic. Yet many people on earth suffer continuously from not enough food, or not enough quality food. As a result, the people at OXFAM, the well known international non-governmental organization whose goal is to improve the lives of people around the world, compiled and released a food index in which they classify 125 different countries in terms of variables related to food.

They place Peru in 51st position overall. In a world of regional inequality, it comes in well for Latin America, It is surpassed in the ranking only by Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Uruguay.

Nevertheless, the ranking does note some concerns. There are people who simply do not have enough to eat. And, food affordability and food quality can be improved, as can the health of segments of the population.

OXFAM argues that work must be done around the world to protect and improve access to food around the world, including Peru.

The relationships between food and the people it must feed for their survival is clearly under pressure and action is urgently needed before the system is stretched further.
Global action is also needed to fix the broken food system so that people are better able meet their food and nutrition needs. This includes:

  • Investing in small-holder agriculture and infrastructure in developing countries to raise production levels and diversity of crops, and give farmers access to markets and the means to store food to prevent waste.
  • Tackling climate change by reducing global carbon emissions to prevent ever-worse climate impacts on food production, investing in resilient agriculture production that can adapt to a changing climate, and raising climate finance so that farmers can adopt better practices and technologies to respond to climate change.
  • Scrapping biofuels targets like those in the EU which divert food from mouths to fuel tanks.
    Improving land rights so that vulnerable communities are at less risk of losing the land they rely on to grow food taken away from them.
  • Action from governments and the food industry to curb the rise in overweight and obesity levels, which represents a critical health issue in developing and emerging economies.
  • Better regulating food speculation to help prevent high and volatile food prices.

To create the Index, OXFAM relied on diverse pieces of information published by WHO, FAO, and the ILO.

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