To the extent that it is a crucial – and ever more prominent – component of sustainable development, food security is an emerging area of research for IDLO. Our headquarter's geographic proximity to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), both based in Rome, is fostering synergies and giving added impetus to our work on the subject. How rule-of-law principles can be used to bolster food security; promote non-discriminatory access to food; embed a gender perspective into food policies; and make the right to food justiciable in court, are some of the areas we study. Additionally, the emphasis in the post-2015 agenda on nutritious (as opposed to just plentiful) food links into our work on legal frameworks for the prevention of non-communicable diseases, such as obesity and diabetes.
In 2016, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched a needs-driven Umbrella Programme to enhance responsible investment in agriculture and food systems with a view to addressing the global challenges of food security and hunger, particularly in low income countries. The work includes support for the application of guidance instruments such as the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (CFS-RAI), endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security in 2014.
The agricultural sector in low income countries has suffered from serious underinvestment for decades, with considerable consequences for long-term food security. The investment needed to eradicate hunger by 2030 has been estimated at US$1.5 billion annual additional investments per year, of which US$276 million is required for rural development and agriculture.