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Fighting hunger on all fronts: AAH speak out in a new publication

Action Against Hunger (AAH) discuss their experiences of humanitarian interventions aimed at eliminating or preventing hunger in the newly published report: The Geopolitics of Hunger 2000-2001 'Hunger and Power.'

Compiled by the Action Against Hunger international network, this publication draws on their experience, spanning twenty years, working with some of those populations most affected by humanitarian crisis.

AAH assert that each humanitarian crisis is complex and different and that in order to provide adapted, efficient and tailored responses to the needs that arise, it is essential to be able to accurately analyse the situations in which agencies operate and the true causes of hunger.

Most of this analysis comes to the same conclusion: hunger is used as a weapon against civilian populations who are denied the most basic of human rights, the right to food.

AAH highlight that their technical expertise and commitment alone are insufficient in such scenarios and that there is therefore a need to alert the wider public and call for international action beyond the humanitarian response to expose and oppose such crimes.

Key issues that are tackled include:

  1. The use of hunger as a weapon. This is demonstrated through experiences in Sierra Leone, Somalia, Kosovo and other countries.
  2. Confronting unjust food distribution: which strategies for humanitarian intervention? Humanitarian organisations may become pawns in geopolitical games whereby agencies must struggle to retain impartiality and independence when confronted with governments intent on serving their own political interests. Questions that are addressed include; How to react when confronted by criminal regimes? What are the principles to be respected and the code of conduct to be followed? What is the role of humanitarian organisations in the present world of international relations?
  3. Food policies to eradicate hunger. Humanitarian assistance alone cannot prevent global malnutrition. Nevertheless the role of such assistance should include analysis and resulting proposals for poverty eradication and advocating for efficient food policies.

Part three of the publication provides an analysis of policies that could be implemented to secure the right to food ranging from the Lomé Convention to policies on increasing productive capacity.

Also available from AAH is their: Action Against Hunger international activity report, 1999-2000.

The extensive report describes all Action Against Hunger's international activities and relief programmes between 1999-2000. It aims to give an insight into their approach to fighting hunger through describing types of programme and design. The report also reviews Action Against Hunger's charter of principles, its expertise and integrated technical approach, as well as the management of its resources.

Copies of The Geopolitics of Hunger 2000-2001 'Hunger and Power' cost £16.50 and can be ordered directly from EDS, 3 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8LU. Email: For further information on both publications: contact Action Against Hunger UK, 1, Catton Street, London,WC1R 4AB. E-mail:

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Fighting hunger on all fronts: AAH speak out in a new publication. Field Exchange 12, April 2001. p12.



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