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The number of the week - Voluntary Guidelines on the Right to Food mark their 10th anniversary

Each week the BMEL presents interesting figures on the issues of food and agriculture.

The Voluntary Guidelines on the Right to Food of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) are marking their tenth anniversary. The FAO, for its part, will be celebrating its 69th anniversary on 16 October 2014. Since 1979, the anniversary date of the founding of FAO has been commemorated as World Food Day and is intended to draw attention to the situation of the more than 800 million people who are suffering from malnutrition.

The Guidelines on the Right to Food call for intensified efforts to fight global hunger. On behalf of the Federal Government, the BMEL provided extensive political and financial support to the order of approx. 1.6 million EUR for the development and negotiation of these Voluntary Guidelines.

In Germany, the right to adequate food is enshrined in Article 2 (2) of the Basic Law. It is also laid down in Art. 11 of the UN Social Covenant (Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) that has been ratified by Germany. In developing countries which have not ratified the UN Social Covenant, the Voluntary Guidelines provide help in calling on national governments to take steps to realise the right to food, and have thus given fresh impetus to the political commitment of civil society in many countries.

Realising the right to adequate food on a global scale is also a key issue for BMEL. The Ministry, in the form of voluntary contributions, provides targeted support to individual FAO projects under the bilateral trust fund of the Federal Republic of Germany. One such project that received funds was, for instance, aimed at putting in place participatory and grievance mechanisms in food security policy for non-governmental organisations in Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Kenya and Uganda.

Since 2002, most recently in the summer of this year, the BMEL conference series on "Policies against Hunger" has offered representatives from international organisations, the EU, governments, the scientific community and civil society a platform to discuss current issues related to the fight against hunger.

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