In the Fourth People’s Health Assembly held in Dhaka (2018), PHM set out its intended thematic areas of work for the next few years. One of these areas of work focuses on Food and Nutrition and our statement released after the Dhaka PHA 2018 can be found here.
Over the last few weeks the Food and Nutrition working group has met to put together a programme of work that intends to capture the impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on hunger and starvation in PHM country circle countries. The rationale for this programme of work is briefly described in this background note.
We are writing to your country circle, because we would like to request your ideas and inputs on the state of hunger and starvation in your country in the context of Covid-19. Your contributions could draw on a range of data – media reports, anecdotal evidence, academic publications, and interviews with key actors (including PHM activists). We would like to use these contributions as the basis for a webinar to be held in October, and eventually, for a publication that maps PHM activism around Covid-19 and hunger in participating countries across the world. We have created a list of questions that might assist you to give your inputs as below. Further, we understand that it may be difficult to get a response to all the five questions, in which case country circles can decide as to which questions they can work on and proceed accordingly to provide us with the information available.
We would like for each country contribution to be organised around the following questions:
- How has hunger and access to food in urban and rural communities been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic?
- In your country, what evidence is there that food insecurity and hunger have increased amongst groups that were formerly food secure, e.g. the urban middle classes who have been hit by unemployment?
- How has Covid-19 impacted popular struggles around the right to food in your country?
- How, if at all, has Covid-19 encouraged mobilisation around the gendered dimensions of food access, production and consumption?
- What community-level initiatives have emerged around the country in order to promote access to food and mitigate hunger?
The Covid-19 pandemic marks a critical moment in the intertwined struggles for food sovereignty, against neoliberal globalisation, and for Health for All – NOW. Through these country case studies we hope to document the contributions that PHM country circles can make/are making to identifying the characteristics of these struggles in this historical moment. We hope to identify information, tactics and strategies that can advance the right to food during this pandemic and after.