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Chmielewska, Danuta
Souza, Darana
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
Country Study 22
[Introduction] Brazil currently offers an important conceptual framework for food and nutritional security, and a relevant context of related public policy and programming. Recently, moreover, the country included the right to food among the social rights stipulated in its constitution. These achievements are the result of a longstanding process of public intervention and broad social mobilisation that has involved a variety of stakeholders from the government and civil society. As far as public programming is concerned, several actions that may reflect on food and nutritional conditions were taken in Brazil throughout the twentieth century, such as the minimum wage in 1940, supply programmes, school meals and dining halls for workers in the 1950s, and food supplement programmes in the 1970s (CONSEA, 2009). Nevertheless, the recent mobilisation around the concepts of food and nutritional security started to acquire significant national scope mainly in the 1980s. Important initiatives from this period include the preparation of the document 'Food Security-Proposal for a Policy to Fight Hunger' by the Ministry of Agriculture in 1985, which offered an important technical discussion; and the mobilisation of the civil society that led in 1986 to the first National Food and Nutrition Conference (CNAN), which played a significant political role (CONSEA, 2009). The following decade also saw significant progress on ideas and activities in the areas of food and nutritional security. In 1993, civil society conducted an important awareness raising campaign called Citizenship Action against Hunger and Poverty and for Life. The campaign fostered substantial mobilisation about hunger in Brazilian society and led to the amassing of thousands of tons of food to be distributed to the needy. Then-President Itamar Franco gave backing to the matter within government. He declared hunger an absolute political priority and assumed responsibility for implementing a proposal on a National Food Security Policy. This commitment led to four important events. (...)
Document Type: 
Working Paper
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