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2011 Examples of Actions by Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance members and partners

 

Here is a list of actions that EAA members have carried out during the 2011 Food Week of Action. We welcome you to continue to use Food Week of Action resources to raise awareness and call for food justice.

Brot für die Welt

Action: Brot für die Welt handed 10.000-signed postcards, available here, over to the ministries of Development and Ecology, asking for sustainability criteria in the biofuel quality directive. A Press Release is available here.

Result: Both Ministries said that they would support their demands and promised to keep them informed about the reporting of the government towards the EU commission on the sustainability impacts of biofuel production.

Follow-up action: As the first report will be due next year, the ministries agreed that Germany should push for the inclusion of sustainability criteria again at the EU level and said they will raise the issue in the Rio + 20- context. Brot für die Welt certainly will follow the issue up.

 

Brot Fur die Welt

CIDSE

Action: CIDSE issued a paper ‘Food Price Volatility: Consequences and Impacts on the Right to Food’ to underline how food price volatility put both consumers and farmers in developing countries at risk, as explained in a related press release.

Follow-up action: CIDSE members were actively engaged in the 37th session of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) negotiations since food prices were high on the agenda and continue to participate in the development of the Global Strategic Framework (GSF).

Conseil des Eglises Protestantes du Cameroon (CEPCA)

Action: CEPCA issued an information note on World Food Day (FR) with a focus on food price volatility, a topic that is of grave concern to Cameroon. The release called on churches and communities to i) engage in advocacy and prophetic mission towards public authorities so that specific measures are taken to curb the general trend of increase of food prices that affect negatively the realization of the right of the people to food; ii) support initiatives to promote sustainable youth and women employment, mostly in rural area as means to increase their revenue and their capability to access food in good quality and reasonable quantity; iii) advocate for small agricultural producers who live essentially in rural areas so that their interest and benefits are protected by the state; iv) promote solidarity; within communities involving; the rich and the poor and v) develop a theology and liturgy of food so that it becomes a mission and pastoral issue. The release was read in various churches during the Sunday services and relevant material relating to food, rural development, EAA's action guide and food liturgy were shared through mailing lists and facebook group.

 

Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB)

Action: CFGB organised several activities around World Food Day, including worship services, fundraisers and awareness raising concerts. During these events, stories were told about people in different parts of the world facing hardships and needing help.

Results: The concerts were wonderful and supporters were very generous. You can read more about their activities at bit.ly/upNjd0

Additional events held across Canada: CFGB; joined with domestic anti-hunger groups in the “$4/day challenge” and “human library event”. You can read more about this story on their website at: bit.ly/tk8SJQ

Ongoing actions: As part of CFGB’s “Fast for change” campaign, they now have a “harvest of letters”, encouraging people to write to their members of parliament about a hunger-related issue. The current issue is the need for Canada to do more to help farmers in developing countries adapt to climate change. There have been a few letter-writing events over the past few weeks, and CFGB expected several more before the end of November.


Canadian Foodgrains Bank

Church of Sweden

Action: Erik Lysén, International director of the Church of Sweden wrote an article for the Swedish newspaper entitled ‘How can world hunger be reduced?’ The article highlights the Church of Sweden’s concrete actions to reduce hunger and calls for political will to achieve this goal. The article drew attention to the famine in the Horn of Africa and called on leaders to reduce the numbers of hungry in the world by i) Developing small-scale agriculture in an ecologically sustainable manner and strengthening livelihoods with additional assistance for small-scale farmers - particularly women; ii) Providing cash for vulnerable populations who are unable to afford to buy enough food to eat to reduce malnutrition, especially among children; iii) Reforming EU agricultural policies so that they do not harm farmers in poor countries; iv) Mitigating climate change to reduce agriculture variabilities. The article concludes by urging fellow Swedes to make changes in their lifestyles and offered examples such as buying fair trade products, eating organic and a more vegetarian diet and striving to use public transportation and travel by bicycle and train instead of car and air.

Additional information about the Church of Sweden’s WFD activities can be found at here


Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR)

Action: The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada circulated the EAA’s materials for the Churches Week of Action on Food electronically to their congregations and to individuals interested in social justice. Canadian Lutheran World Relief also circulated the material electronically to their network.


Finn Church Aid (FCA) & The Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission (FELM)

Action: A letter to the editor by FCA and FELM was published in the biggest Finnish newspaper ‘Helsingin Sanomat’ on 16 October 2011. The text focused on links between food security and social stability with a particular view to the new national development policy program that the Foreign Ministry of Finland is currently working on. This letter also served as a starting point for discussions at the co-hosted FELM and Kehys ry (the Finnish NGDO Platform to the EU) seminar ‘Food Security and Societal and Political Stability’ held in Helsinki on October 25. The event brought together David Nabarro, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Food Security and Nutrition and Coordinator of the UN High Level Task Force on the global food crisis; Mr. Keith Wiebe, FAO Deputy Director of the Agriculture Development Economics Division; Anne Sipiläinen, Under-Secretary of the State – Development Cooperation and Development Policy; Lauri Heikkilä, Vice Chairman of Agriculture and Forestry Committee of the Finish Parliament and Björn Vikström, and Bishop of the Porvo Diocese of the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church. Participants heard case studies from Haiti, Ethiopia, and North Korea and reflected on the achievements that have been a direct result of Finnish international development aid.


Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in West Africa (FECCIWA)

Action: FECCIWA held a press release and distributed posters to raise awareness around World Food Day through its 'Eat what you Grow – Grow what you Eat; campaign in an attempt to protect local markets from being flooded with foreign goods and to strengthen local products and farmers to ensure food security. A policy brief entitled ‘Landgrabbing – Undermining Food Security in West Africa' was launched in conjunction with the event.


Land Grabbing Posters

Land Grabbing Posters

ICCO

Action: ICCO’s World Food Day actions were organised around the food crisis in the Horn of Africa and a speech was delivered with questions surrounding international food assistance. Additionally, ICCO delivered the 2011 Right to Food and Nutrition Watch – The Accountability Challenge - to the Danish Ministry of Economics, Agriculture and Innovation. More available at www.wereldvoedseldag.nl


National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP)

Action: To kick off the Churches Week of Action on Food, the National Secretariat of the NCCP joined by the National Office Staff of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, youth from KAIROS Philippines, Peace for Life staff, and CONTAK Philippines held a liturgical celebration which affirmed churches’ call for food security for the people, and equitable and just distribution of the world’s food production. Mr. Danilo Ramos of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Peasant Movement in the Philippines) provided what is called the NOW Testament. Ramos discussed the current situation of the peasants in the Philippines and stated that the issues and struggle of the peasants and the development of agriculture is everyone’s concern. The farmers call out and so must the churches call out for action toward social justice!

Examples of NCCP’s commitment and action during the Churches’ Week of Action on Food:

  1. The offering gathered during the service was given to the KMP as a support to the October 2011 Peasant and Agricultural Worker’s Luzon-Wide March in Lakbayan-Sakbayan.
  2. A liturgical celebration was held with local churches.
  3. Church people joined the Peasants’ March from 17-21 October.
  4. NCCP supported the activities of peasant women during the “World Rural Women’s Day’ on 15 October; the ‘Peasant Women’s Assembly and Forum on Land Grabbing and its Impact to Food Security’ on 14 October and related women’s march to Department of Agrarian Reform; the picket that took place at the Department of Agriculture on ‘World Foodless Day’ on 16 October and the Vigil & Solidarity Night in front of Department of Agriculture (DAR) National Office in Quezon City on 17 October

  5.  

Presbyterian Hunger Program and the US Food Sovereignty Alliance

Action: The Presbyterian Hunger Program joined the US Food Sovereignty Alliance, La Via Campesina and food sovereignty movements with a call to fashion the kind of food and farming future we need—a future of communities, regions and nations revitalized with local food, democracy, sustainability and justice. Many people, congregations and groups took action. See more at here

Rights and Democracy (R&D)

 

Action: Rights & Democracy released a new report on the human right to food in Bolivia entitled ‘The Human Right to Food in Bolivia: Report of an International Fact-finding Mission’. The report is a compilation of findings from an investigative operation realized by R&D in cooperation with Bolivian food security experts in April 2011 and commends the political will and positive steps taken by the Government of Bolivia to end hunger across the country.

 

The EAA

Churches’ Week of Action on Food was a culmination of actions throughout the week and closed with the delivery of "Food for Life" Sermon Competition winner at the ecumenical worship service held at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva on 17 October 2011. For those of you unable to attend the event, you can watch the worship here.

Please do let us know if you would like DVD copies of this event.

Churches Week of Action on Food: 10-17 October 2010

10-17 October 2010 was an important week to focus on food. The week included the International Day for Rural Women (15 October); World Food Day (16 October); International day for Eradication of Poverty (17 October) and the FAO Committee on Food Security (11-16 October).  These events took place shortly after the FAO and the UN World Food Programme announced that an estimated 925 million people suffer from chronic hunger. While this 2010 estimate is a small decline from the 1.023 estimated in 2009, it is tragically apparent that the food crisis is still acute for one-sixth of the world’s population.

The outcome document of the MDG Summit claims that “successes have been made in combating extreme poverty”. Yet with only five years left to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in 2015, the far greater challenge still lies ahead. This calls for a profound turnaround in international food and nutrition policies and practices towards a rights-based approach. As EAA members and partners, we are called to continue to work together to expose and eradicate the causes of hunger and engage more as we prepare for the 2011 Week of Action, which is again set for 10-17 October.

2010 Highlights

EAA members and partners engaged in many activities during the 2010 Churches Week of Action on Food including organizing worship services, letter writing campaigns, launching the Food and Nutrition Watch in several countries, public seminars and more.

Here are some highlights:

Worship at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva

The US Food Crisis Working Group, to which the Presbyterian Church of the USA (PCUSA) is a member of, launched the US Food Sovereignty Alliance during the week. The Presbyterian Church promoted the week among its congregations and networks.

The Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in West Africa (FECCIWA) held a “feed my people advocacy and lobby event” in Abuja, Nigeria on
October 9 – 14 with participation from 25 senior West African church leaders.

The Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church (FELM) organized a seminar on 13 October on how to ensure the right of every African woman to access land. The seminar involved church, government 
and civil society representatives.

The General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church in the United States promoted the Week of Action.


Launch of the Right to Food and Nutrition Watch in Geneva, Helsinki, and many other countries.

The National Council of Churches in the Philippines organized a letter writing campaign. The activity ended with a fellowship lunch. Various local churches in Metro Manila also integrated the liturgy in their Sunday Services. Prayer cards were also distributed to various congregations.

A news report will also be uploaded in the NCCP website. Bread for the World in Germany organized a press conference on land grabbing, 12 October, Berlin, Germany and invited churches to participate in the week of action and offered them a postcard to sign under the heading "Who wants to fill his car with hunger?"

Economic Justice Network of FOCCISA planned seminars, marches, work­shops, press conferences and worship services in South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland, South Africa and Zambia.

The Women's World Day of Prayer - German Committee promoted
the Week in preparation for the 2011 World Day of Prayer.

More updates available at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Food-for-Life-Campaign-Ecumenical-Advocacy-Alliance/226013162921

 

Fast For Life