On Tuesday, September 27, the Director of the WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger in Brazil, Daniel Balaban, participated in the webinar “Hunger and public policies: The complexity of food security in Brazil”, organized by Sênior Gestão Social, a company specialized in advisory and consulting services in social assistance management. The event was free and aimed at professionals working with in social assistance, food and nutritional security, and health policies.During the seminar, Daniel Balaban detailedthe work of the World Food Programme, responsible for distributing food and offering humanitarian aid in 123 countries, and explained the work of the WFP Centre of Excellence in Brazil, which is dedicated to supporting the creation of public policies, learning activities, capacity building, and South-South technical assistance to erradicate hunger. “Our main work at the Centre is to help countries create policies so that they no longer need foreign aid from the UN or other countries. In order to do this, they need to invest in public policies,” he said.
According to the Director, it is the continuity of these public policies that guarantees that the population has access to basic rights, such as nutritious and healthy food. For him, “hunger has a solution, and for that we need to have the political will to solve the problem”. Without this continuous investment, there is a risk that countries will go back to facing scenarios of food insecurity and social inequality.
To change this scenario, Daniel Balaban provided examples of good practices in the fight against hunger developed by the WFP, anchored in four main pillars: humanitarian aid, investment in education, policies to help small rural producers, and investment in science and technology.
Andreia Lauande, guest speaker at the event, a social worker and Master in public policies from the Federal University of Maranhão (UFMA), discussed the relationship between social assistance and food security, and provided an overview of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it influenced the Brazilian scenario. However, Andreia argued that hunger is not an issue that arises with the coronavirus pandemic. “Unfortunately,the pandemic is not the only responsible for this process. We went through an extremely complex crisis that was accentuated with the pandemic,” she said.