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Nutrition and Food Sovereignty

Welcome to PHM thematic circle on Nutrition and Food Sovereignty!

Nutrition and Food Sovereignty has historically been a very strong area for PHM, but with the loss of some activists in the space, PHM is working to re-energize the work.

The vision is the creation of an equitable and fair food system based on the inalienable people’s right to food and adequate nutrition; politicization of food and nutrition issues, i.e., increasing the political as opposed to technical communications drive on these issues; broad awareness and activism about the negative links between food and financial systems including about the undue corporate influence and flaws of current PPP and multi-stakeholder solutions; and successful resistance to the technical and individualized vision of nutrition by correcting misinformation fed to the public on how to make the food system more equitable.

Short-term goals for Nutrition and Food Sovereignty
•Increased capacities of PHM cadres in food and nutrition work, including active use of mass media and social media to engage beyond PHM.
•PHM activities linked and joint actions developed with other organisations active in the food and nutrition area.
•PHM contributes to convergence and strengthening of broader struggles and provides inputs in its areas of expertise.
•Increased understanding of the political economy of food and nutrition among activists broadly.

If you wish to volunteer for this thematic group, contribute in anyway or have any questions, please contact cschuftan[at]phmovement[dot]org or marcos.e.filardi[at]gmail[dot]com or faridaakhter.ubinig[at]gmail[dot]com.




1. The Food and Nutrition thematic group of PHM developed a call to action on nutrition, food security and food sovereignity after the People’s Health Assembly in Dhaka, 2018.  People’s Health Movement. A Call to Action on Nutrition, Food Security and Food Sovereignity. World Nutrition Journal. 2018.

2. Case Studies from countries- Two countries submitted case studies on the situation of Hunger and Food insecurity during the Covid pandemic in response to above call. Please find the case studies below-i. Case study in Spanish submitted by  Mesoamerican subregion of PHM ( Comité Regional de Promoción de Salud Comunitaria). “Necesidades alimentarias elevadas por COVID y tormentas de 2020“. February 2021. For English case study click here.ii. Case study submitted by PHM Bangladesh (UBINIG-Policy Research for Development Alternative)- “The struggle for life and livelihood amid pandemic“. October 2020.

3. Other Articles

i. Hunger and food security in the times of Covid-19. 2021 Feb. Dipa Sinha. Dipa Sinha is associated with the Right to Food Campaign in India.

ii. India should reject the Eat Lancet Commission report and any other groups that push for predominantly plant-based foods.Sylvia Karpagam, July 2021.

Challenging recommendations like the those coming from EAT The Lancet commission (in context of India) that promotes vegetarianism premised on myth of vegetarian India, what it means for the oppressed Dalit Bahujan communities in the country & how private sector seeks to profit from such commission reports.

iii. The Right to Food Campaign, an ally of PHM India, carried out a Hunger Watch Survey in February 2022 to gauge the status of food insecurity in India post pandemic and the result were appalling. Please find here the press release along with survey findings, here you can find the survey findings in the form of graphs and presentations.

iv. Many of our country partners are working against the attempts to foof fortification in country policies which they consider devoid of evidence and as technocratic solutions. Right to Food Campaign in India conducted a fact finding in two states of India in May 2022 concluding that Indian government must stop the policy misadventure with fortification in food. Read the Jharkhand state report and Chhattisgarh state report.


3. Opposition to UN Food Systems Summit 2021-

i. Letter to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on concerns around corporate capture of the UN Food Systems Summit 2021 raising issues such as  involvement of World Economic Forum,  absence of involvement of Food and Agriculture Organisation (unlike the previous summits) and others.  PHM and around 500 other CSOs are signatory to the letter here.

ii. Hundreds of groups oppose the Gates-led expansion of chemical industrial agriculture in Africa in lead-up to controversial UN World Food Summit. Stacy Malkan. Feb, 2021.

iii. We Should All Be Worried About the United Nations Food Systems Summit. Thea Walmsley. 30 May ’21

iv. Central Call by the Civil Society Groups to mobilise around a “parallel pre-summit” in July ’21.

v. UN Food Systems Summit- Implications for India and why Civil Societies are Boycotting it – The article explores the impact on India through taking the example of Summit’s one of the Action Tracks i.e. “Shift to Sustainable Consumption Patterns with a wide mandate to build a broad, multistakeholder coalition around this key challenge and opportunity, and leveraging the EAT platform to the full”. Indian activists have earlier warned that such advocacy (that the above action track is based on) of shift to plant based diet is dangerous for countries like India. It feeds on the myth of a “vegetarian India” that works for the advantage and narrative of the Right-wing Hindu groups in the country.

vi.  Join the campaign on concerns around UNFSSS 2021- If your organisation wants to join the campaign against corporate capture of UNFSS, please find the open call for engagement to respond to the UN Food Systems Summit here. Additionally, Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples’ Mechanism (CSM) Letter to the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) on Food Systems Summit on why they can not attend the UN Food System Summit. Click on the link if your organization wants to sign-on.

vii. PHM involvement in opposition to UNFSS 2021-

a. PHM Food and Nutrition group drafted its own call for action for its member countries to engage in the mobilisation with a list of proposed/suggested actions. This was discussed and approved in the Food and Nutrition thematic meeting on 14th June. Link.

b. Coverage of the issue in the latest People’s Dispatch issue by PHM comms officer/journalist Jyotsna-

c. PHM co organised the roundtable on 27th July as part of the pre-summit mobilisation on the issue of “The Private sector’s Great Take over: How Multistakeholderism is a major threat to Food and Agriculture as well as to people and states.” Other co organisers- Organized by TNI, FIAN, Focus on the Global South, MAB/LVC Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power, Stop Impunity and for Peoples´ Sovereignty,, Friends of the Earth International.

d. Farida Akhter of UBINIG Bangladesh & member of PHM Food & Nutrition thematic writes about the opposition to @UN @FoodSystemsin Bangladesh National Daily The Business Standard.-

e. “Long Live Nayakrishi, No No to Company seeds”
UBING Bangladesh also made this 3 mint video challenging #UNFSS2021 to tell what #FoodSystems should look thru Nayakrishi (agro-ecology) group who practice bio-diversity based farming.’

f. Farida Akhter. Sept 2021. Mandatory fortification is not a solution to malnutrition. Article by colleague Farida (UBINIG, Bangladesh). Among other things it specifically focuses on the impact of UNFSS in Bangladesh through its push for Food Fortification (being heavily pushed in India too).

“In preparation for the UNFSS 2021, the Ministry of Food has been coordinating national dialogues supported by the FAO and Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). The Ministry of Industries along with the private sectors are working to ‘improve’ the nutrition situation of Bangladeshi people through a programme to fortify a huge amount of food with vitamins and minerals.”

g. PHM. Sept 2021. Why is PHM opposing the UN Food Systems Summit? Hear from our Activists and Friends

Please visit the below website for the detailed program of 4 days counter mobilisation/ parallel summit by CSOs in opposition to UNFSS 2021 (25 July to 28 July ’21) and upcoming actions-