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Right to food: first visit ever to Madagascar by a UN special rapporteur

13 July 2011

GENEVA – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, will conduct an official mission to Madagascar from 18 to 22 July 2011. This will be the first visit to Madagascar by an independent human rights expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council.

“Madagascar is experiencing very challenging times,” the Special Rapporteur said. I hope that my visit will contribute to identifying concrete steps to make progress in the realization of the right to food”.

Madagascar is among the world’s least developed countries and its population faces serious challenges in effectively realizing its right to adequate food. According to the latest statistics, three in four people live below the national poverty line, while one in three is undernourished.

“During my visit, I will engage in a dialogue with Government officials and civil society representatives on issues such as the legal and policy framework to ensure access to adequate food, the impact of large-scale foreign investments in agricultural land, and efforts to ensure viable livelihood opportunities for small holders and other vulnerable groups,” De Schutter said.

The Special Rapporteur will present his preliminary observations on the mission at a press conference at 11:30 on 22 July 2011 in Antananarivo at the UNICEF Conference Room, Bâtiment Annexe UNICEF, Zone Galaxy Andraharo. The full report of his visit will be presented subsequently in a report to the UN Human Rights Council.

ENDS

Olivier De Schutter was appointed the Special Rapporteur on the right to food in May 2008 by the United Nations Human Rights Council. He is independent from any government or organization.

Learn more about the mandate and work of the Special Rapporteur, visit http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/food/index.htm or http://www.srfood.org

OHCHR Country Page – Madagascar:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/MGIndex.aspx

For further information and media requests, please contact:
- Geneva: Ulrik Halsteen or Yoonie Kim (Tel: +41 79 444 49 17 /+41 79 752 04 85; email: srfood@ohchr.org)

- Antananarivo: Nanou Fiankinana (Tel: +261 20 23 300 74 ext 1050)

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