Parliamentarians and universities in Honduras unite to work for food, in crisis due to COVID-19
At the end of May, the Parliamentary Front against Hunger (FPH) and the Honduran Observatory on the Right to Food (ODA) launched a joint appeal due to the COVID-19 emergency and its consequences for the country’s food sector.
“It is an appeal, an open letter aimed at decision-makers. One notable proposal is the formation of a standing committee on the right to food, comprising parliamentarians and academics,” stated Bessy Nassar, an academic from the Honduran Autonomous National University (UNAH) and ODA member.
According to data from the FAO, already prior to the pandemic, 962,000 Hondurans were not managing to cover their daily nutritional needs, and most worrying was the fact that one in every four under five-year-olds were already demonstrating chronic malnutrition.
“We already knew there were people suffering a critical level of food insecurity in the country but, with COVID 19, this level is now increasing. This is why FAO Honduras is reaffirming its commitment and support for this kind of initiative,” explained the FAO National Representative in Honduras, Dennis Latimer.
The coordinator of the Parliamentary Front against Hunger, Teresa Cálix M.P., indicated that: “Getting the family agriculture law passed will be a priority, as well as monitoring implementation of the school food law.”
The parliamentarian also noted another forthcoming legislative task in this area, which would be to revise “the whole regulatory system governing food security in Honduras”.
Karla Medal M.P. clarified that there is a need “to study the possibility of transforming current food systems into healthier and more sustainable ones, for example through legislative bills promoting greater consumption of fruit and vegetables”.
“We believe this appeal demonstrates a virtuous relationship between parliament, academia and the FAO, aimed at ensuring the health crisis does not turn into a food crisis,” added Luis Lobo, Technical Officer of the Spanish–FAO Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Parliamentary Front against Hunger and ODA-LAC
The Parliamentary Front against Hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean brings together legislators from 21 countries and different political groupings, all with an interest in the right to adequate food.
It is a regional network which, with the support of the FAO, Spanish Cooperation and Mesoamerica Hunger Free AMEXCID – FAO, has promoted more than 30 legislative bills guaranteeing the right to food and sustainable development.
Since 2011, it has been receiving support from the Latin America and Caribbean Observatory on the Right to Food (ODA-LAC), a regional academic network with more than 100 universities in almost 20 countries.