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Food and Nutrition Security in Brazil

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Food and Nutrition Security in Brazil

Publicada em: Governo e ONGs
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Food and Nutrition Security in Brazil

  1. 1. This text is based in the account on the Status and Food Security Policies in Brazil published by the FAO headquarters in Rome, in the report on the State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014.
  2. 2. 3 The Report on the State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014, published by FAO, reveals that Brazil has reduced very significantly hunger, stunting and undernourishment in recent years. The indicator Prevalence of Undernourishment, used by FAO for fifty years to measure and track hunger internationally, declined to below 5%, the statistical limit of the measure, below which it considers that a country has overcome the problem of hunger.
  3. 3. 4 FAO World Hunger Map in 2014 Very low: < 5% Moderately low: ≥ 5% to 14,9% Moderately high: ≥ 15% to 24,9% High: ≥ 25% to 34,9% Very High: ≥ 35% Missing or insufficient data Source: United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
  4. 4. 5 This result is in line with the conclusions of several studies on the topic, with different indicators, such as the Human Development Report 2014, published by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the National Monitoring Report on the Millennium Development Goals, organized by the Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA in the Portuguese acronym), to name a few of the latest. Accordingtothesestudies,between2001and2012, the income of the poorest 20% of the Brazilian population grew three times more than the income of the richest 20%. In a broader context, from 1990 to 2012, the share of population living in extreme poverty fell from 25.5% to 3.5%. Regarding nutritional status, the prevalence of low height in children under five years of age was reduced between 1996 and 2006 from 13.4% to 6.7%. The application of the Brazilian Food Insecurity Scale in the National Household Sample Survey of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE in the Portuguese acronym), in 2004 and 2009, showed a decrease in 25% of severe food insecurity in the period.
  5. 5. 6 Children participating in Bolsa Família Increase in average height of 5 year old children Source: Brazil Ministry of Health, compiled by the Ministry of Social Development and the Fight Against Hunger cm Boys Girls
  6. 6. 7 Advances in combating hunger and poverty, in the analysispresentedintheFAOReport,stemfromthe prioritization of the agenda of Food and Nutrition Security (FNS) from 2003 on, with particular emphasis on the launch of the Zero Hunger strategy, the re-creation of the National Council for Food and Nutrition Security (CONSEA in the Portuguese acronym), the institutionalization of FNS policies and the implementation, in an articulate manner, of social protection policies and funding for agricultural production. Over the past decade, the FNS policy gained force in Brazil by strengthening legal frameworks; creating an institutional environment that facilitated cooperation and coordination between the different ministries and levels of government, with defined responsibilities; greater investments in areas such as family farming; and the strong involvement of civil society in the political process. A milestone was the enactment of the Organic Law on Food and Nutrition Security in 2006. The law defines food and nutrition security as “the realization of everyone’s right to regular and permanent access to quality food in sufficient quantity, without compromising access to other essential needs, based on health-promoting food practices that respect cultural diversity and that are environmentally, culturally, economically and socially sustainable.” The breadth of this definition was translated into government policies and programs, which included
  7. 7. 8 actions ranging from promoting sustainable agriculturalmodelstofoodandnutritioneducation, approach that shaped the National Plan for Food and Nutrition Security currently in place. Othericonicmomentsweretheincorporationinthe Federal Constitution, in 2010, of the human right to adequate food and, in 2011, the institutionalization of the National Plan for Food and Nutrition Security. The National Plan for Food and Nutrition Security incorporates more than 40 programs and actions. The Ministry of Social Development and Fight Against Hunger is responsible for many of these programs. Other ministries such as Health, Agrarian Development, Education, Agriculture and Environment are also involved. The legal frameworks, the consolidation of institutional arrangements by the Federal Government and the effective promotion of social participation are important sources of support for policies on food and nutrition security. It is noteworthy in this regard, the efforts of the National Council for Food and Nutrition Security and the National System for Food and Nutrition Security. The National System for Food and Nutrition Securityconsistsoftwocomponentsatthenational level: the CONSEA and the Inter-ministerial Chamber for Food and Nutrition Security (CAISAN in the Portuguese acronym), which is composed of 20 members of government offices responsible for implementing food and nutrition security policies and programs. Currently,
  8. 8. 9 the government is working to consolidate the National System for Food and Nutrition Security in states and municipalities, since most federal programs for food and nutrition security and family farming are run in these spheres, following a decentralized approach which is already working in other sectors. The CONSEA makes recommendations and monitors policies for food and nutrition security, including the National Plan for Food and Nutrition Security, promoting the integration of actions into a unified strategy. The CONSEA has worked with the Federal Government to implement a national system of information related to food and nutrition security, with more than 50 indicators divided into six dimensions: (i) food production; (ii) availability of food; (iii) income/access to food and food expenses; (iv) access to adequate food; (v) health and access to related services; and (vi) education. This system converges with the international consensus on the need to consolidate a set of indicators to monitor the complexity of food and nutrition security.
  9. 9. 10 Brazil has significantly reduced undernourishment when compared to the most populous countries in the world * Countries that left the Hunger Map Source: FAO/2014, compiled by the Ministry of Social Development and Fight Against Hunger
  10. 10. 11 The CAISAN is the inter-ministerial mechanism for government coordination and management of the National Policy and the National Plan for Food and Nutrition Security. This institutional arrangement of the Federal sphere is replicated in states and municipalities. Federal spending in 2013 on programs and actions for food and nutrition security in Brazil reached approximately R$ 78 billion (about US$ 33,2 billion). Spending on social programs has increased over 128% between 2000 and 2012, while the share of these programs in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 31%. In 2013, the programs related to social protection represented the majority of the federal funds spent on food and nutrition security, while programs related to the production and distribution of food, including for the promotion of family farming, accounted for one-sixth of these expenditures.
  11. 11. 12 Brazil achieved the largest relative decrease in undernourished population in Latin America (1990-2014) Source: FAO/2014, compiled by SAGI/Brazil Ministry of Social Development and Fight Against Hunger
  12. 12. 13 The program of conditional cash transfer – “Bolsa Família” – launched in 2003, carries out monetary transfers, preferably having the mother as the card holder, to more than 13.8 million low-income familiesundertheconditionthatthefamily’schildren stay in school and regularly visit the local health services for immunization and child development monitoring. Investment in this program tripled in the last ten years, reaching nearly R$ 25 billion (US$ 10,64 billion) in 2013, which is equivalent to about a third of federal spending on programs and actions for food and nutrition security. In 2011, the Brazil Without Extreme Poverty Plan was launched, with the goal of eradicating extreme poverty in Brazil. The plan articulated social protection with policies to promote equality of income, employment, family production and nutrition. Consequently, new policies dedicated to the extremely poor people were introduced; they addressed the need for improvement in the access to public services in order to promote education, healthandemployment.Theseincludedanincrease in the value of the benefits of the Bolsa Família program and expansion of access to kindergartens and preschools. All these measures improve access to food. In March 2013, all families in extreme poverty started to receive benefits that guarantee a minimum of income per capita of about US$ 1.25 per day. About 22 million Brazilians were removed from extreme poverty since 2011.
  13. 13. 14 FAO “The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014” Report highlights Brazil’s strategy to fight hunger • Availability of calories for the Brazilian po- pulation has increased by 10% over 10 years • Increased income of the poorest Brazilian citizens: • Generation of 21 million formal jobs (2003-2014) • 71.5% increase (purchase power, after inflation) of the minimum wage (2003-2014) • 14 million families registered in national Bolsa Família income transfer program • National School Meals Program - 43 million children/youth served with school meals every day • Increased governance, transparency and society participation with the recreation of the CONSEA (National Council on Food and Nutrition Security)
  14. 14. 15 The implementation of structuring policies such as the strengthening of family farming, in parallel with cash transfer programs such as Bolsa Família, has been successful in reducing hunger in Brazil. While agribusinesses and large farms dominate the agricultural production for export, family farming is growing and currently accounts for 70% of the food consumed internally in the country. Investments in policies to support family farmers totaled R$ 17.3 billion (US$ 7,36 billion) in 2013; the rural credit budget of the National Program for Strengthening Family Farming was increased in ten times between 2003 and 2013. The Family Farming Food Purchase Program (PAA in the Portuguese acronym), launched in 2003, has also contributed to decreasing poverty and overcoming hunger in the country, particularly in rural areas, as it ensured a market for the production of family farmers, one of the vulnerable groups in the country. The program operates through the direct purchase of food from family farmers by the government. The government donates this food to institutions that serve vulnerable populations, uses it to prepare meals served in public schools or increases its stocks. In 2012, more than 185,000 farmers throughout Brazil participated in the program, each one receiving on average more than R$ 4,000 (about US$ 1,700) for their products. Federal funds for the program increased almost in ten times since 2003, exceeding R$ 1.3 billion in 2013.
  15. 15. 16 Investments in production increased Brazil´s food suply Source: FAO 2014, compiled by SAGI/Brazil Ministry of Social Development and the Fight Against Hunger
  16. 16. 17 The National School Feeding Program has also had significant impact in reducing undernourishment of children in Brazil. The program provides meals to all students in public schools, a number that, in 2012, meant 43 million students enrolled. The federal investment in the School Feeding Program was R$ 3.3 billion (US$ 1,4 billion) in 2012, supplemented by the funding made by both state and municipal governments. In 2009, the program evolved to require that public schools spend at least 30% of the funds transferred by the federal government into food purchase directly from family farmers. Other policies, such as insurance against harvest loss due to extreme climate events, a minimum price guarantee, special support to rural women, rural development and technical assistance have as their objective to increase productivity and incomes, and also responding to the specific needs of different regions of Brazil. Over the past decade, access to land was strengthened by the distribution of 50 million hectares to more than 600,000 poor landless families. The programs of the Brazil Without Extreme Poverty Plan reinforce this support, providing small farmers with the rural extension services to implement projects and improve their livelihoods through the Program of Incentives for Rural Productive Activities. Information in this report highlights the significant progress achieved in the last ten years in Brazil, as well as the challenges for the next decade. Some emerging agendas and
  17. 17. 18 criticism include: groups of people who remain in severe food insecurity; concentration of land ownership; need to improve the balance between the models of agricultural production, from the perspective of food and nutrition security; food supply policy; access to water; and promotion of adequate and healthy eating habits. Brazil has made great progress in the governance of food and nutrition security over the last decade. The significant progress in reducing poverty and hunger demonstrate the success of this inter-sectorial, participatory and well- coordinated approach. The National Plan for Food and Nutrition Security, developed with the participation of civil society is linked to the federal budget and a well-structured system of multidimensional monitoring of food and nutrition security. The Brazil Without Extreme Poverty Plan, based on all these points, aims to reach vulnerable populations and it invests in early childhood - priority actions that have an enormous impact in the future. Structures and capabilities that result from the evolution and the institutionalization of the governanceoffoodandnutritionsecurityandthe continued political and budgetary commitment put Brazil on a solid foundation to protect the gains achieved and to face new challenges.

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