The Right to Food
© Guido Dingemans

Food is a human right

The Right to Food is enshrined in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights from 1976, signed by 106 countries. Most countries have incorporated the right to food into either their constitutions, national laws and/or development plans. From 2004 and onwards, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) formulated sets of guidelines to help governments and civil societies to strengthen the implementation of the right to food.

In spite of food being a human right, more than 800 million fellow humans go hungry every day. At the same time, more than 1.000 million are overweight. This points to the conclusion that hunger is not a result of food shortage at the global level, but a result of inequality and injustice. On top of this, an estimated 30% of global food production is wasted and never eaten.

In terms of planetary resources, there are plenty to feed the current global population – and even more. But to do so, we need a different food system and fairer distribution of resources and influence to secure equal access to food. DanChurchAid and our partners work for a global food system, where the right to food is fulfilled – also for the poorest.

Violation of the Right to Food leads to Hunger. Hunger hampers human, social and economic development

When humans go hungry they can not unfold their physical and mental potential and they are excluded from participating as active citizens in development. Hunger limits human development at all stages of life and it is the greatest obstacle for global development, progress, prosperity and peace.

Over 90% of all hunger-related deaths are caused by chronic undernourishment. Famines and wars are responsible for only 10% and the proportion has decreased significantly in recent years. This is because we are now much better at preparing communities for coping with disasters. Currently, the world produces enough food to feed everyone. However, inequality prevents over 800 million fellow humans from eating every day as they have no access to food or money to buy it. Among these people 60% are women and 40% are men – this bias is due to discriminatory practices towards women that in many communities mean that women eat last and least.

This is how DanChurchAid fights hunger

We focus on improving access to food for the poorest by:

  • dotPromoting agro-ecological production to increase and stabilise yields
  • dotSupporting income generation so that people without land can buy food
  • dotOrganising farmers and other poor people to voice their right to food
  • dotWorking for poor people’s right to food through national and international advocacy – addressing the causes for unequal food access
  • dotIn times of humanitarian crises, providing emergency aid and social protection schemes


One aspect of hunger is food waste.

We waste much of the food produced at different stages:

  • dotIn developing countries the majority of the waste happens due to poor storage facilities and lack of access to processing, packaging and transport facilities.
  • dotIn Denmark, most of the waste happens at consumer level – we simply throw away food in large quantities – food that has undergone cultivation, harvesting, processing, packaging, transportation, selling and buying.

DCA works to minimise food waste and at the same time do fundraising through selling surplus food in WeFood shops.