Food Security

Decent work for food security

Today close to 1 billion people worldwide suffer from chronic hunger, while, at the same time, the current trend of unprecedented increase in food prices makes for more hunger, poverty, unemployment, social unrest, and political instability.

The fragile economic recovery and high unemployment rates in many countries as well as the persistence of hunger hamper efforts to attain agreed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and in particular MDG1 on eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. The inclusion of Target 1.B to “achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all including women and young people” under MDG1 has acknowledged the fundamental role of decent work in reducing poverty and addressing food insecurity in a sustainable manner.

The ILO, with its tripartite constituency and in-depth expertise in the world of work, is uniquely placed to contribute to and strengthen existing UN efforts towards improved food security through decent work, in particular in building livelihood resilience.

Based on these considerations, the Office has developed a sectoral programme which aims at promoting food security through decent work by expanding opportunities for productive and fairly remunerated employment in key industries within the food system, underpinned by rights at work, social protection and social dialogue.

The involvement of sectoral trade unions, employers’ organizations and national, regional and local authorities in the development and implementation of strategies to counter food insecurity will ensure ownership, sustainability and relevance to countries’ needs.