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Hunger crisis in Africa: Global Forum in Krems addresses Europe’s responsibilities

11 August 2011

Nyéléni-Europe Forum for food sovereignty 16th to 21st of August, Krems, Austria

Not only drought and local conflicts are responsible for the devastating hunger crisis at the Horn of Africa. International trade policies, land grabbing, missing food surplus, ineffective water management and food speculation have a share in the aggravation of this and other catastrophes in the world´s poorest countries.* European governments and the international community do not only have to help rapidly, but they also have to promote a fundamental change in agricultural and food policies.

A milestone for a different agricultural and food system is happening in Krems from 16th to 21st of August. More than 600 farmers, activists and consumers from Europe as well as delegates from Africa, Asia, South, Central and North America are expected at the first European forum for food sovereignty. The participants will discuss Europe`s responsibilities in the current hunger crisis as well as strategies for the development of socially, environmentally and economically sustainable alternatives to the dominant agricultural and food system in Europe, which Europe imposes on other regions.

To fight hunger on a global level in the long run, the common agricultural policies (CAP) of the EU should not serve the interests of food corporations and investors. “Only if the CAP is based on food sovereignty, can the survival of the billions of peasants and the rural poor be assured”, co-organizer Irmi Salzer from ÖBV-Via Campesina Austria says.

The food sovereignty framework was established as a countervailing response to the neoliberal system and as an alternative for local, regional and international food and agricultural policies.

Since the first Nyéléni 2007 Forum for food sovereignty, held in Mali, the framework has been developed further and the Forum in Krems will push it forward in Europe: the Forum will provide a good base for a strong European movement for food sovereignty. The principles of food sovereignty include the right to healthy and culturally adapted food, the recognition of food producers, the strengthening of local control over the food system with the inclusion of local and traditional knowledge, and a food system that works with nature, using ecological methods of food provision.

For more information on the Nyéléni Europe Forum for food sovereignty: www.nyelenieurope.net

Press info:

The Forum gives a lot of opportunities for interesting interviews with international delegates. Background Information is attached. For scheduling appointments please get in touch with us.

Contact for accreditation and interview requests:

Marzia Rezzin : marzia.rezzin@eurovia.org mobile: 0032 473 300 156

European Coordination Via Campesina


The UN organisation for food and agriculture(FAO) warns, that the recent hunger crisis in Ethiopia, Kenia, Djibuti and Uganda could spread. The example of Ethiopia shows how profit-interests and the hunger for land, promoted through European agrofuel-politics destroy the livelihoods of the poor. Although there were 2.8 billion of people dependent on food aid before the drought, the Ethiopian government offered more than 3 million hectares of the most fertile land for sale. In recent years over 50 million hectares of land (together with water reserves) were sold to Hedge funds, investment-banks, foreign governments and private Investors. Peasants were literally cut off from their livelihoods.