Has progress been made since the 2008 food crisis? UN Special Rapporteur visits Cameroon

YAOUNDÉ / GENEVA (12 July 2012) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, will carry out an official mission to Cameroon from 16-23 July 2012 to observe the ongoing efforts to implement the right to food in the country.

Mr. De Schutter recalled that “in 2008, Cameroon was one of the countries most affected by the increase in food prices on world markets, a crisis which hit the purchasing power of vulnerable Cameroonians and led to social unrest.”

“As part of its attempts to bolster food security in the country, the Government of Cameroon is aiming to increase the area of land under cultivation by 30%. This strategy entails significant land concessions, particularly for the production of palm oil,” the independent expert explained.

He clarified the goals of his mission by recalling that “an approach based on human rights, and particularly the right to adequate food, means analyzing to what extent the policies in place are sensitive to the needs and rights of different population groups, and whether they respond to the weaknesses revealed by the food crisis.”

During his mission, the Special Rapporteur will meet with several ministers, civil society representatives, and UN agencies. He will carry out field visits to analyze the challenges in different regions, particularly those faced by tropical agricultural holdings along the coast and those faced in the far North of the country, where food insecurity is acute. These visits will allow him to observe the food challenges of Cameroon’s nomadic and forest-dwelling communities.

The Special Rapporteur will present his preliminary observations at a press conference which will take place at the Djeuga Palace hotel in Yaoundé at 14:00 on 23 July 2012.

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, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Food/Pages/FoodIndex.aspx or www.srfood.org

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Cameroon: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/CMIndex.aspx

For further information and media requests, please contact:
In Geneva (before the visit): Ulrik Halsteen (+41 22 917 93 23 / srfood@ohchr.org)
In Yaoundé (during the visit): Timothy Franklin Kiven Fonyuy (Tel: +237 22 21 24 74 / Cell: +237 77 35 25 34 / tfonyuy@ohchr.org)

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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