Flomena Aslkon, 14, holding a days worth of food in the plam of her hands.
Flomena Aslkon, 14, holding a days worth of food in the plam of her hands. Kenya. Photo: Rankin/Oxfam

Help Yourself!

Food Rights and Responsibilities: Year 2 findings from Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility

Published: 5 June 2014
Richard King, Policy Research Adviser at Oxfam; Alexandra Kelbert, researcher at Institute of Development Studies; Nick Chisholm, Senior Lecturer at University College Cork and Naomi Hossain, Research Fellow at Institute of Development Studies.

Help Yourself! provides the second year results of a four-year study on how food price volatility affects everyday life and uncovers grassroots realities related to the right to food.

Do people at risk of hunger think they have a right to food?

What does a right to food mean, and how can it be claimed and enforced?

We asked these questions of around 1,500 people in 10 low and middle income countries. Customary rights and responsibilities, patchy and uneven at the best of times, are affected by rapid changes in food prices and responses to them; becoming less effective buffers against the global drivers of food insecurity.

People at risk of hunger are keenly receptive to state and civil society action that strengthens their sense of right to food, but formal responsibilities for action are often unclear and monitoring systems rarely capture local realities. Food security programs are often demeaning, divisive, unreliable, discriminatory and discretionary. This weakness of public accountability for food security would matter less if people felt that markets were doing the job of guaranteeing access to good food. However, complaints about volatile and rising food prices continue to be a feature of everyday life, contrary to the overall impression of falling prices on world markets.

The research is funded by the UK Government and Irish Aid.



You may also like

Coffee beans, Honduras. Photo: Oxfam
Squeezed: Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility

Half a decade after the price spike of 2007-2008, food price volatility has become the new norm: people have come to expect food prices to rapidly rise and fall, though nobody knows by how much or

What a global food crisis looks like: Oxfam's food prices map

Oxfam's interactive map shows how poor communities across the world are being hurt by high and volatile food prices. The ‘food price pressure points map’ provides a global snapshot of the impacts of the global food price crisis.

Permalink: http://oxf.am/YFg