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The Impact Of The Poverty Reduction And Growth Facility On Social Services In Malawi - by Afrodad - 1 April 2006 (PDF - 93.4 kb)
Government of Malawi Must Comply with Right to Food Obligations
21 April 2006
An international fact-finding mission composed of representatives of civil society organisations from Canada, Ghana, Germany, Malawi and Zambia today concluded with a set of observations and recommendations to the Malawian government. The mission was conducted by the Canadian human rights organisation Rights & Democracy and FIAN, an international human rights organisation that advocates for the human right to food.
The mission was invited to evaluate the state of the right to food in the country by the National Right to Food Taskforce, a Malawian civil society initiative. Mission members met with rural communities in the Kasungu, Salima and Mchinji districts and with representatives of local and central government, donor agencies and civil society in Lilongwe.
Although the Government of Malawi has taken positive steps to respond to the hunger crisis, the mission observed a number of shortcomings with regards to State compliance with its human rights obligations. The response to the hunger emergency was characterised by lack of accountability, a systemic discrimination of the most vulnerable groups, and a failure to take appropriate steps to lift the country out of food aid dependency.
The alleged sale of subsidised maize to traders through government outlets at the height of the hunger emergency represents a breach of the Malawi’s obligation to respect the right to food. The breach is compounded by a lack of accountability - such as the absence of effective complaint and monitoring procedures through which individuals and communities could have reported such misappropriations and obtained recourse. Likewise, the distribution of fertiliser coupons to farmers revealed a systemic discrimination against those who needed assistance most. It was observed that the poorest segments of the rural population often did not obtain fertiliser coupons because of poor targeting or could not redeem coupons due to the lack of financial means. Finally, lack of sufficient programs and resources dedicated to agricultural development and extension services has perpetuated over-dependence on maize and imported inputs such as chemical fertilisers and delayed progress towards national food security.
On the basis of these observations, the preliminary recommendations of the fact-finding mission include the following:
For additional information, please contact Kofi Yakpo, Tel: +49 6221 65300-56
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