ACHPR/Res.514 (LXX) 2022: Resolution on the Right to Food and Building Resilience in Nutrition across Africa

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The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (the Commission), meeting at its 70th Ordinary Session, held virtually from 23 February to 9 March 2022:

Recalling its mandate to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter);

Recalling Economic, Social and Cultural Rights enshrined in Articles 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21 and 22 of the African Charter;

Recalling further the Commission’s Resolution ACHPR/Res. 374 (LX) 2017, on the Right to Food and Food Insecurity in Africa; Resolution ACHPR/Res.431 (LXV) 2019, on the Right to Food and Nutrition in Africa; and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas of 2018;

Considering Executive Council decision EX.CL/1266(XXXVIII) adopted at its 38th Ordinary Session, declaring 2022 “the Year of Nutrition” with the theme “Building Resilience in Nutrition across the African Continent in 2022” to provide an opportunity to secure greater continental commitment and investment to end malnutrition in all forms;

Noting that the 2022 Year of Nutrition will provide an opportunity to take stock of the progress of implementation of the Regional Nutrition Strategy 2015-2025; AU Agenda 2063 and various sectorial strategies in relation to nutrition in particular, the Detailed Program for the Development of African Agriculture (CAADP) 2015-2025; 

Considering Article 14 of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child which requires States to ensure the provision of adequate nutrition and combat disease and malnutrition within the framework of primary healthcare through the application of appropriate technology for children;

Acknowledging the commitment by African Union (AU) Member States, Regional Economic Communities(RECs), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Scaling up Nutrition Movement, Inter Parliamentary Union and other stakeholders, to strengthen the development of food and nutrition programming, policy and advocacy;

Cognizant  that food  insecurity  is  a  first  and  overarching  result  of  protracted crises, natural disasters, climate-related shocks, and conflicts; and in many African countries,  land  and  water  grabbing  and the privatization of natural resources result in forced evictions,  mass  displacement,  food  insecurity,  and  human  rights  abuses;

Concerned that malnutrition in all its forms hampers the development of individuals, communities and nations across Africa and worldwide; and that undernutrition is the main underlying cause of nearly half of all child deaths;

Concerned that some parts of Africa are burdened with a high prevalence of undernourishment due to de facto increasing delay in the socio-economic development and at the same time, obesity and non-communicable diseases linked to the quality of diet are increasing, thus worsening mortality and morbidity rates; and

Further concerned that the global health crisis of COVID-19 Pandemic has greatly exposed the economic vulnerability of African countries, as well as the weakness of the health and food systems, and the price to pay in keeping the virus at bay has been in many African countries at the expense of gains made in reducing malnutrition.

The Commission calls on States Parties to:

i. strengthen continental commitment and build resilience in nutrition to end malnutrition in all its forms;

ii. integrate nutrition  into all relevant sectors and plans by taking appropriate policy, institutional and legislative measures to ensure the full enjoyment of the right to food;

iii. strengthen health systems and scale up high impacted nutrition interventions in food and nutrition programming, policies, initiatives and advocacy; and monitor its implementation for improved nutrition and food systems on the continent;

iv. ensure that sanitation and drinking water supply systems, social protection systems and education are part of a broader multi-sectoral approach in resolving malnutrition in all its forms;

v. adopt an inclusive  approach in tackling malnutrition and ensure good health and nutrition for pregnant and breastfeeding women, children; adolescents; and prisoners as well as apply national standards for breastfeeding, processed foods, school meals, prison meals and food aid programmes, for more nutritious and healthy food;

vi. design  policy  responses  and  interventions in situations of protracted crisis, conflicts and natural disasters to protect vulnerable, disadvantaged and marginalised groups, to realise their right to food and nutrition;

vii. increase the allocations of national resources focused on the nutritional wellbeing of populations, including the most vulnerable groups;

viii. encourage and strengthen the implementation of national food and nutrition guidelines, supported by FAO and World Health Organization (WHO) to inform the public through awareness campaigns on nutrition and food regulations.

Done virtually, on 9 March 2022