The National Food Security Council (Consea, in portuguese), created in 1993, is a consultative organ directly linked to the Presidency of the Republic of Brazil and represents a space for civil society participation in the formulation and evaluation of public policies on food and nutritional security. Created by the Itamar Franco government, the Council has gone through several challenging moments in recent years, such as its deactivation in 1994 and, more recently, in 2019. In 2023, the federal government reinstates the structure, which helps strengthen the fight against hunger and promote food security in the country.
Consea has the task of articulating the three instances of government (municipal, state and federal) and civil society (social movements and NGOs) in the review of existing federal programmes and is composed of 57 councillors, in addition to 28 invited observers. Among the functions of the Council is to convene and organise the National Conference on Food and Nutritional Security, with a periodicity not exceeding four years.
According to the Director of the WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger in Brazil, Daniel Balaban, Consea is more than just a council. “It is an instrument for the creation of public policies so that the country can develop an adequate and fairer food and nutritional security system. That is why we welcome the return of Consea. And we hope that it will support the country for many years to come,” said Daniel.
It is also the Council’s role to exercise social control and act in the formulation, monitoring and evaluation of the National Policy and System of Food and Nutritional Security. For Albaneide Peixinho, coordinator of the Nurture the Future project, the government, especially the federal government, cannot fully understand the reality of the states and municipalities, and the Council helps to manage this. “With the participation of social control, especially of users, who are at the sharp end, who experience this reality, they can collaborate greatly in the definition, design, monitoring and evaluation of these public policies,” concludes Albaneide.