Food Security, the Right to Food and the Human Development Report 1994

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The paper addresses the evolution of the concept of “food security” after the publication of the 1994 Human Development Report. This Report stressed the relevance of the access to food, a major achievement with regard to previous definitions, moving the concept out of from a purely production concern into a broader approach involving poverty and development. Later, worries with other factors such as food safety, nutritional balance and food preferences, lead to a re-appraisal of the 1994 definition. Parallel to the development of the concept of food security, there was also an elaboration of a human rights perspective on issues related to the alleviation of hunger and the promotion of access to adequate food and good nutrition, i.e. the right to food. The paper argues that the 1994 Human Development Report constituted an important step in the efforts to understand and cope with hunger and poverty.