Access to food: the SDC's commitment to sustainable food systems

Sufficient and adequate food is a human right, yet over 800 million people remain chronically undernourished. The SDC works at various levels to ensure that every person in the world has access to sufficient and adequate food.  

A woman stacking apples in a market with a rich selection of fruits and vegetables
The SDC is committed to diversified production and food systems and access to fruit and vegetables for all. © SDC

The SDC's focus

The SDC aims to achieve sustainable food security for all. That is why it promotes agriculture, markets and food policies that guarantee secure access to adequate food even for the poorest and most disadvantaged sections of the population. In its work, the SDC considers all aspects of the entire food system, 'from farm to fork', which affect food availability and quality.

While direct food aid deliveries play an important role during acute crises, the SDC is increasingly supporting projects that prioritise sustainable and balanced long-term nutrition and functioning local markets. In the event of a crisis, food aid can thus be delivered much more efficiently by focusing on those most in need.

The SDC focuses in particular on the role of women and young people in food production and nutrition. It works to ensure that they have access to resources and education. Young people often seek opportunities in the agriculture or food sector, both in the rural and in urban areas. By providing sound training endeavours in organic farming as well as start-up opportunities for food retailers in towns and cities, the SDC helps to boost economic prospects while also strengthening food systems.

To improve access for all, especially disadvantaged groups, the SDC is active in the following areas:

Right to food

The SDC was actively involved in drafting the UN's Voluntary Guidelines to Support the Progressive Realisation of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security, adopted in 2004, and has since been working to ensure their implementation. A number of countries have subsequently adjusted their policies, legislation and institutions in accordance with the Guidelines. The SDC is also working to ensure that civil society organisations and other stakeholders can monitor compliance with the right to adequate food and tell governments where there is potential for improvement.

Balanced nutrition

The SDC works to ensure that, in addition to staple foods, people also have access to a varied diet. To this end, it supports diversified agricultural production and food systems. Information and awareness-raising work, education, access to safe drinking water, healthcare and proper processing and storage of food also play an important role.

Crop forecasting and insurance

The SDC uses new technologies such as satellite data with radar technology to establish crop forecasting and agricultural micro-insurance. Among other things, crop forecasts facilitate the early detection of food crises, enabling timely intervention to prevent food emergencies and famine. In partnership with the private sector, the SDC develops micro-insurance products for smallholder farmers as well as insurance for countries, against flooding and drought for example. This is important to prevent more people falling even deeper into poverty.

Background

Hunger and malnutrition are major challenges. While the proportion of hungry people in the world fell from 23% to 12% between 1992 and 2015, according to the UN approximately 821 million people were chronically undernourished in 2017.

Sufficient and nutritious food is especially important during the first 1,000 days of an infant's life, otherwise the child can suffer permanent damage. According to the 2018 Global Nutrition Report, over 240 million children under the age of five are affected by chronic or acute malnutrition and more than 2 billion people are suffering from vitamin or mineral deficiency. To counter this problem, food can be enriched with micronutrients. However, a sounder approach would be to promote diversified agricultural production that provides access to a wider range of foods.

The right to adequate food is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) made this right legally binding. In Switzerland, the ICESCR came into force in 1992.

To improve the overall quality of food systems, the SDC draws particularly on innovations developed by Swiss universities and private companies. Such partnerships range from research into sustainable cropping systems and scientific consolidation of practical experience from the food industry through to the development and application of technological solutions. The SDC helps to disseminate these approaches through international policy dialogue, drawing on its own decades of experience, as well as that of Swiss non-governmental development organisations in agricultural projects and from collaborative work with farmers' organisations.

Documents

Current projects

Object 25 – 36 of 213

Covid-19 Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (single phase)

01.12.2020 - 31.12.2022

Established by The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (RPSF) addresses immediate impacts of the Covid 19 pandemic on rural people, prevents the erosion of results from past and ongoing operations, and puts in place building blocks to support post crisis recovery and long term resilience. As an IFAD member state, Switzerland joins international efforts with this time-bound response to prevent the health crisis from turning into a food crisis.


Aceli Africa

01.11.2020 - 31.10.2025

Aceli Africa is a market-led platform to catalyse finance for credit-constrained East African businesses along selected agricultural value chains that offer the best potential for income and job creation, food security and nutrition, gender inclusiveness, and promotion of climate-smart and agro-ecological smallholder agriculture. Key Swiss added values are the up-scaling of social impact financial instruments pioneered by SDC with partners, the involvement of the largest Swiss private impact investor, and the focus on two SDC priority countries.


Upgrading Karm Abu Salem Crossing - Gaza

01.10.2020 - 31.12.2022

Switzerland will support improving the export/import conditions of goods to and from the Gaza Strip.

The project, implemented by UNOPS, will upgrade the poor infrastructure at the Palestinian side of

the only functioning commercial crossing between Gaza and Israel. The existing infrastructure con-

ditions are causing around 10% of damages to the transiting commodities thus incurring substantial

economic losses that are affecting the living conditions of two million people in the Gaza Strip


Strengthening Social Protection in Jordan

01.08.2020 - 31.12.2021

Switzerland's contribution to this multi-donor project will provide social assistance to Jordanians households which are unable to meet their basic needs, including as a result of COVID-19, and at the same time support the institutional reform process of Jordan's social protection system. Switzerland will contribute to the reform process of the National Aid Fund to make it more effective, inclusive, accountable and sustainable. This first phase orient Switzerland’s engagement in upcoming phases which will be manly focussed on the institutional reform process.


Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC)

01.08.2020 - 31.07.2024

Vector-borne neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and malaria are major causes of mortality, morbidity and lack of economic progress for the poorest. Targeting the vector (mosquito) is a main eradication approach. Due to climate change and natural mutation, insecticide resistance is affecting most malaria endemic countries. The Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC) is the world-leader Product Development Partnership developing innovative and safe insecticides. SDC strategic support to IVCC complements Switzerland’s global action against malaria. 


Smallholder Safety Net Up-scaling Pro-gramme (SSNUP)

01.07.2020 - 31.12.2023

Smallholder Safety Net Up-scaling Programme is a multi-donor public private partnership to support small and medium agribusiness enterprises, farmer organisations and financial intermediaries in providing effective services to their smallholder farmer customers and members, thereby reducing their farm and livelihood risks. The programme will lead to higher incomes and more jobs notably for women as well as increased food security, contributing to improved livelihoods of an estimated 3 million smallholder households applying more sustainable farm practices.


Programme de renforcement de la résilience des ménages pastoraux et agropastoraux face aux crises climatiques et à l'insécurité (RESILIA) Phase 1

01.06.2020 - 31.12.2024

la DDC contribue au renforcement de la résilience de plus de 700’000 personnes dont les déplacées internes, affectées par la crise sécuritaire et les changements climatiques au Burkina Faso. Se basant sur la riche expérience de la Suisse dans l’élevage pastoral au Sahel, le programme va soutenir les pasteurs et agropasteurs pour que leur pratique d’élevage et moyens de subsistance s’adaptent aux défis climatiques et améliorent leurs conditions de vie tout en favorisant la paix au Burkina Faso.


Nutrition in City Ecosystems (NICE)

01.06.2020 - 31.07.2025

The Nutrition in City Ecosystems (NICE) project aims to improve nutrition and health, and to reduce poverty by increasing the demand and supply of diverse, agroecologically produced foods. Implemented by a Swiss public private consortium, NICE focusses on women, youth and vulnerable populations. City governments in two secondary cities each in Bangladesh, Kenya and Rwanda will be supported, and learning between cities, incl. Swiss cities, will be facilitated to contribute to the global discourse on sustainable food systems. 


Accès aux bénéficiaires en Afrique de l’Ouest

01.06.2020 - 31.12.2023

Dans un contexte d’insécurité civile et alimentaire croissante, aggravée par la crise économique et sanitaire due au Covid-19, seul le service aérien humanitaire des Nations Unies (UNHAS) permet d’accéder aux populations grâce à un transport sûr et rapide d’acteurs et de biens humanitaires et de développement. La contribution à UNHAS permettra d’atteindre les populations vulnérables dans les régions reculées, d’assurer le suivi des programmes suisses et de rendre compte sur ces derniers.


CROPS4HD - Consumption of Resilient Or-phan Crops & Products for Healthier Diets

01.06.2020 - 30.06.2025

The agroecological production and sale of neglected and underutilized species offers nutritional and health benefits for consumers, market opportunities for farmers and contribute to the sustainable use of biodiversity and climate change adaptation. In Chad, Niger, Tanzania and India and globally, SDC supports SWISSAID and its partners in establishing agroecological food and seed systems. FiBL, the leading Swiss Research Institute of Organic Agriculture supports this endeavour with scientific evidence.


Programme d’Appui au Secteur du Développement Rural (Wusua Dabu) - PASDeR

01.05.2020 - 30.04.2024

Au Bénin, l’agriculture constitue la principale source d’emploi et de revenu. Des reformes ont été initiées par le gouvernement pour promouvoir les filières agricole et animale. Se basant sur les acquis des phases précédentes, la DDC vise à mettre à l’échelle le programme en élargissant la zone géographique d’intervention sur tout le Nord et d’augmenter le nombre de filières cibles, tout en s’inscrivant dans une approche plus économique et créatrice d’emplois pour les jeunes et les femmes.


Programme d’Appui au Plaidoyer des Faîtières des Organisations Socio-professionnelles Agricoles (AP/OSP)

01.05.2020 - 30.04.2024

L’agriculture constitue la principale source d’emploi et de revenu au Bénin. Or, les réformes dans le secteur de l’agriculture ne sont pas encore toutes définies de commun accord avec tous les acteurs. La Suisse contribue au renforcement institutionnel et à la gouvernance des faîtières des producteurs et éleveurs afin que ces derniers puissent mieux jouer leurs rôles d’interpellation, de proposition, de participation et de suivi de la mise en œuvre des politiques agricoles.

Object 25 – 36 of 213