One of the targets of the first Millennium Development Goal is to halve the proportion of people who suffer
from hunger by 2015.
Most of the world's poorest countries are largely dependent on agriculture to generate income and jobs. 75% of the world's poor and malnourished population still live on small farms in rural areas. In developing countries, women are in charge of 60-80% of food production.
Spanish cooperation programmes approach rural development in a wider, territorial and multi-sectorial sense to coordinate different territories and enable them to develop their own strategies for guaranteeing food and nutritional security.
With the approval of the Third Master Plan (2009-2012), the position of the industry was strengthened under the general target of "helping realise the human right to food and improve the living and food safety conditions of rural and urban populations”.
Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufﬁcient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life (FAO, 1996 World Food Summit).
The focus on the right to food takes into account elements of food security related to the availability, accessibility, stability and biological use of food, considering human dignity and cultural acceptability. Thus, citizens become holders of rights rather than receivers of aid.
Rural development is the process whereby rural areas are revitalised in a balanced and self-sustainable manner, based on their economic, social and environmental potential, by means of regional policies and a comprehensive use of territorial measures (Quintana, 1999: Estrategia de Lucha contra el Hambre de la Cooperación Española).
Rural development and the fight against hunger are priority areas for the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID). AECID remains fully committed to
cooperating with other countries in agriculture, rural development, food security and nutrition to help realise the human right to food.
AECID also believes access to water and sanitation is a basic human right, as laid down by the General Assembly of the United Nations in July 2010. To make sure the focus remains on human rights, the provisions laid down in Government Order 15* are followed, as well as the reports and recommendations of the United Nations Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur on the subject, setting out criteria and indicators for availability, accessibility, affordability, quality, non-discrimination, participation and access to public information.
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